January 23, 2008

Having A Good Knight

It's like, which one of these things doesn't belong? Except, they do belong. But for different reasons.

While it still might be too early to accurately predict the Final Four that will take place in Tampa, Fla., on April 6, that doesn't mean we can't try.

And while teams like Connecticut, Tennessee, North Carolina and Maryland seem to be getting a lot of hype, there is another team that deserves respect, but will beat you in a very different way then those others.

No. 5 Rutgers is a national title contender. They are the defending runners-up and they aren't fast, they don't shoot great percentages, they don't have a go-to superstar. What do they have? They have the ability to turn those other teams mentioned into brick-laying, turnover machines.

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January 13, 2008

She Was Literally On Fire

Never before has a post in "She's On Fire" been as appropriate to its title.

Oklahoma State's Andrea Riley truly was on fire Saturday against Oklahoma. The 5-foot-5 sophomore guard from Dallas' Lincoln High School scored an incredible 45 points - 37 in the second half alone! - and literally could not be stopped during the Cowgirls beat down of the No. 6 team in the nation.

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January 10, 2008

What Had Happened Was...

First Stanford, then Georgia and now this?

Coaches aren't going to want to speak with me. Media relations people aren't going to take my calls and E-mails. Are my columns really having an eerie effect on the program's I write about?

My December Review lauded Stanford's efforts - the Cardinal lost two in a row after that. I wrote that undefeated Georgia was a team to reckon with in the SEC - they aren't undefeated any longer.

And now, my words may have coaxed an entire state into a funk.

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December 22, 2007

O For Oklahoma

Before the No. 20 Oklahoma State Cowgirls get too excited about their school-record 71-point victory over Central Arkansas Saturday, they should take into consideration who they beat.

Without a doubt, you beat anyone by 71 points and that is an accomplishment, but let's not get crazy with ourselves. This win shouldn't sway any voters in the Associated Press.

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December 19, 2007

Falling Off The Horse

The Cowgirls of No. 20 Oklahoma State have had their 8 seconds of fun. The wild bull ride that was their undefeated season is over. The bull gave them the horns. Or I should say, the Horned Frogs.

Eight seconds is the equivalent to the eight wins the Cowgirls owned before juggernaut TCU welcomed them into their Forth Worth home.

I hope you sense the sarcasm. There is nothing juggernaut about the TCU Horned Frogs, just like there is nothing Top 25 worthy about the Oklahoma State Cowgirls, who lost to TCU by 34 points, 97-63.

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December 16, 2007

Never A Smooth Ride

On any road to greatness, there will be bumps along the way. The bumps make the journey worthwhile. They build character. Without the bumps, there'd be no triumphs later.

Nell Fortner and the Auburn Tigers never expected to go the entire season undefeated. They never even expected to be undefeated after nine games.

But when they put their 9-0 record on the line at No. 12 Texas A&M Saturday, leaving College Station 9-1 has still got to sting a little.

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December 05, 2007

Musical Top 25

The Associated Press and Coaches Polls have been released, meaning another week of musical chairs among the Top 10 and bottom portion of the Top 25.

With all the nation's elite squads beating up on each other in big preseason battles, and all the bottom-Top-25 teams proving they don't belong ranked at all, there has certainly been a lot of turnover in the early season.

As always, I have some bones to pick with the voters. And the Maryland Terrapins should too.

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November 22, 2007

Music To My Ears

Happy Thanksgiving from South Florida, where right about now I am so stuffed that I couldn't move any part of my body but my arms, forcing me to write this blog post.

A quick look at the Top 25 scoreboard tonight sees No. 9 Duke doing their thing in paradise at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Blue Devils defeated No. 22 Purdue 53-41 with a strong defensive effort.

And I was surprised to find that Jasmine Thomas must have taken my words to heart. The Duke freshman, the topic of my Thursday column this week, led the Blue Devils in scoring with 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting and 2-for-4 from long range.

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November 13, 2007

Some Network's Basketball Invitational

If you thought the first weekend of action in the 2007-08 season was good, you ain't seen nothing yet. With the WNIT heating up and the ESPNU Basketball Invitational down in Tampa on Thursday, the action is non-stop.

From Downtown will be heading down to the Sunshine State for the two-game invitational - not a tournament - that features No. 10 Duke at host South Florida in the first matchup and an amazing No. 1 vs. No. 9 neutral site battle between the Lady Vols of Tennessee and Courtney Paris and Oklahoma.

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November 10, 2007

Aggies Almost Upset

If there was one team that I felt was being ranked too high this preseason it was Texas A&M. They were left off my Great Eight and I chose them to finish second in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma.

Many people disagreed with that prediction, feeling that A&M would be the better team this season after bringing back so much from last year's team.

The Aggies got some bad news though, and it almost cost them dearly already. Senior guard Morenike Atunrase, the school's leader in blocks, underwent surgery to fix a stress fracture in her right tibia. Atunrase will most likely miss the entire non-conference portion of the schedule.

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Aggies Almost Upset

If there was one team that I felt was being ranked too high this preseason it was Texas A&M. They were left off my Great Eight and I chose them to finish second in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma.

Many people disagreed with that prediction, feeling that A&M would be the better team this season after bringing back so much from last year's team.

The Aggies got some bad news though, and it almost cost them dearly already. Senior guard Morenike Atunrase, the school's leader in blocks, underwent surgery to fix a stress fracture in her right tibia. Atunrase will most likely miss the entire non-conference portion of the schedule.

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March 10, 2007

Big XII: Wrapping It All Up

What a tournament we've had here in Oklahoma City. We've had 11 great games, a record-breaking attendance, upsets galore, a darkhorse team that made it to the end, and a happy home crowd watching their Sooners claim the Big XII Tournament title.

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Big XII: Wrapping It All Up

What a tournament we've had here in Oklahoma City. We've had 11 great games, a record-breaking attendance, upsets galore, a darkhorse team that made it to the end, and a happy home crowd watching their Sooners claim the Big XII Tournament title.

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Big XII: Post-Game Quotes

After the game was through, the players and coaches shared their thoughts with us in the media. Here are some of the better quotes.

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Big XII: Tournament Notes

Here are some last notes from the Big XII Tournament, before we wrap things up from the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City...

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Big XII: All-Tournament Team Announced

Here's this year's 2007 Big XII Women's All-Tournament Team

Leah Rush, Oklahoma
Jenna Plumley, Oklahoma
Jessica Morrow, Baylor
Lyndsey Medders, Iowa State

...and the 2007 Tournament MVP...no surprise here

Courtney Paris, Oklahoma

Big XII: The Last Minute

We've got a run by the Cyclones, as they've cut the OU lead down to 61-53. ISU has the ball as we hit the one minute mark.

51.9 seconds - Medders races down the court, goes to her left and hits a lay-up. It's 61-55 OU.
45.9 seconds - ISU fouls...but it's only foul #5 for the Cylones. They need two more.
45.1 seconds - Megan Ronhovde committs ISU's 7th foul...Plumley to the line for OU. She makes the first....and the second..it's 63-55 OU
45.1 seconds - ISU races down court, Medders goes inside, misses, but gets the rebound...throws back out to Lacey for a 3...GOOD! 63-58 with 35.2 seconds to go!
31.0 seconds - Foul by Ronhovde again. Rush to shoot the 1-and-1. MISSED. Rebound ISU. Ezell races down the court, she's going to shoot it herself...lonnnng 3 is no good, rebound and Ronhovde committs her 4th foul
26.6 seconds - Rush to shoot. MISSED AGAIN! ISU with the ball...they need to hurry...Lacey for 3....NO. Rebound OU, and I think this will do it.
16.2 seconds - Plumley to the line...makes the first....makes the second.. 65-58
16.2 seconds - ISU races downcourt, Medders takes it in herself for the lay-up. 65-60 OU
7.9 seconds - Ezell fouls Courtney Paris...Paris to the line...makes the first...and the second...67-60 OU
7.9 seconds - ISU races downcourt...Ezell for 3...NO GOOD...OU rebounds...THIS ONE IS OVER.

OKLAHOMA WINS THE BIG 12 TOURNAMENT...67-60!

Big XII: OU making this a Blowout

The OU run continues, and Oklahoma City is loving every second of it. Amanda Thompson's lay-up with 6:09 left in the game has made it a 57-42 rout in favor of the Sooners.

Iowa State's trying as hard as they can, but they just aren't hitting shots, and the OU momentum is in full swing, as the Sooners are poised to walk out of here as Big XII Tourney champions.

Can ISU make a last rally? Doesn't look like it'll happen, but I've learned from the last few days...don't ever count out the Cyclones.

Big XII: OU Coming Back

The Cox Convention Center is rocking right now, and it's thanks in part to an 8-0 OU run that has tied this title game up at 35. Courtney Paris is having a phenomenal game inside, scoring at will now, while Leah Rush continues to be the Sooners hot hand. She's got 15 points in this game already.

ISU needs to call timeout, but strangely, they haven't done so...and Leah Rush has just made them pay. Hitting a 3-pointer, she's got 18 now for the game and the Sooners have re-claimed the lead, 38-35.

We've got a thriller on our hands here.

Big XII: Iowa State Extends Lead

They might have a huge home court advantage, but right now Oklahoma seems rattled as we start the second half, and Iowa State's getting more and more psyched by the minute. Alison Lacey, playing her heart out, has just hit two free throws, and the Cyclones have their biggest lead of the game, 35-27 with 15:52 to go.

The crowd is stunned, and also very impatient, urging the Sooners to come back. Right now though, it's a scrappy Iowa State bunch that keeps on fighting, keeps on working, and keeps on extending their lead.

Big XII: Irate Media Right Now in OKC

The game is over, with Oklahoma having come back to win 67-60 over Iowa State. However, since the wireless service was down at the Cox Convention Center until two minutes ago, the media is sitting across from the arena, and make no mistake, no one is really happy right now.

I saved my notes on MS Word documents, so after the post-game press conferences, you'll see a sea of information, including how OU manged to come back and win the Big XII Tournament Championship. We just wanted to apologize to you, the reading audience, for the technical difficulties suffered here tonight.

SIDE NOTE: We're in an arena sponsored by a company that sells wireless Internet service. Doesn't speak too well about their product, does it???

More to come from Oklahoma City.

Big XII: Quick Halftime Stats

Here's some quick halftime stats of interest in tonight's Big XII Women's Tournament Championship

Rebounds:
Oklahoma: 27
Iowa State: 23

Never would think ISU would be that close on the boards. Courtney Paris has 12 for OU, and Megan Ronhovde has 7 rebounds to lead the Cyclones.

3-point shooting:
Oklahoma: 1-10
Iowa State: 5-14

ISU's isn't great, but it's keeping them alive. OU's is atrocious for the half.

Turnovers:
Oklahoma: 7
Iowa State: 8

As long as these numbers are close, ISU has a chance to win.

We're four minutes away from the start of the second half. Iowa State will have the ball, and the lead, when we begin.

Big XII: Lacey Gives ISU Halftime Lead

No one in this arena thought it could happen, but Iowa State has comeback from down 11 to take a 26-23 lead, thanks to a 3-point play by Alison Lacey with 1:25 to go. Lacey would add another layup with four seconds to go, giving Iowa State their 3-point lead.

It's a huge statement for Iowa State...the scrappy underdog looking to pull off the miracle. Their jerseys even resemble those of the Hickory Huskers in the movie Hoosiers...red with the gold trim...maybe there's something to that. Who knows?

All I know is that Oklahoma is returning to their locker room fairly surprised at what's happened. It's not as if Courtney Paris has been shut down...she's got eight points so far. The Sooners have missed a lot of shots inside tonight, and the Cyclones, who should have a huge disadvantage inside, are fighting as a team to grab rebounds and play defense.

The Cyclone players left the floor with huge smiles on their faces. If anything, this half was a huge confidence builder. They know they can play with the Sooners, and they know they have to keep the energy going for 20 more minutes.

We've got a great game going...can OU make a comeback in front of the home crowd? Or do we have the Cinderella story of the conference tournaments? Stay tuned as we'll all find out together here in Oklahoma City!

Big XII: Ronhovde Ties Game for ISU

The scrappy Cyclones have shown early that they're in no mood to go quietly.

Down 11-0, the Cyclones have roared back, and Megan Ronhovde's 3-pointer with 4:19 to go has knotted this game at 21. Ronhovde now has six points for the Cyclones, leading the team along with Lyndsey Medders.

Bill Fennelly said that this is a time for seniors to win games. He's got two that have given Iowa State an enormous comeback.

Big XII: Attack of the 'Clones: Part 2

Iowa State seemed intimidated at first. but the Cyclones have stormed back, going on a 7-0 run to cut the Sooner lead to 19-16 with 7:48 to go in the first half. The run was keyed by 3-pointers by Alison Lacey and Lyndsey Medders, and the scrappy defensive play of the Cyclones over the last four minutes.

ISU is a heavy underdog tonight, but when you have a player like Medders on the court, you can't ever count the Cyclones out of a contest. She's just that good a player for Iowa State.

The Cyclones inbound the ball, trying to tie this game up.

Big XII: OU cruising right now

Leah Rush has decided in the early stages that this is going to be HER night, and she's got seven quick points to lead the Sooners, who are up 17-9 over Iowa State with 11:59 to go in the opening half.

ISU is trying the perimeter attack, and Megan Ronhovde answered with a 3-pointer right away. However, the Cyclones haven't made a shot since, and the Paris sisters are pushing Iowa State's girls around. ISU doesn't have anyone who's the size of the Paris sisters, much less Amanda Thompson. They're a tall, but very thin-bodied team.

ISU will inbound the ball as we resume play here in OKC.

Big XII: OU jumps out in a hurry

Bill Fennelly had to take a timeout early, as the Sooners have raced out to a 6-0 lead with 18:20 to go in the half. The Sooners are running the same cutting pattern, just with different players each time, and it's worked three times in a row for them.

Make that 9-0, as Leah Rush drains a 3-pointer...ISU is in BIG trouble.

Big XII: Sold Out Cox Center Greets Sooners

The Cox Convention Center is rocking tonight, as a sellout crowd has greeted the Oklahoma Sooners, who just took the floor for their last pre-game warm-up. Iowa State was on the floor five minutes before, standing for the national anthem before warming up.

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Big XII: It's Down To This: Iowa State vs. Oklahoma

We've had 10 exciting games here at the Big XII Women's Tournament, but it's all been leading up to this game. Power vs. Finesse. David vs. Goliath. The powerful hometown team vs. the little team that could. We are minutes away from co-Big XII Champion Oklahoma and the 5th-seeded Iowa State Cyclones.

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March 09, 2007

Big XII: Wrap-Up Part 4 - Coale Ready For Saturday

Championships are just part of the routine for Oklahoma's Sherri Coale, and she'll get a chance to add some jewelry to her collection on Saturday, when the Sooners take on Iowa State.

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Big XII: Wrap-Up Part 3: How Good is Oklahoma?

There's no doubt that Oklahoma is one of the nation's best teams, and there's no doubt that they have one of the best players going in Courtney Paris. The question is though...just how good IS Oklahoma?

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Big XII: Wrap-Up Part 2: ISU's Megan Ronhovde

We started the Big XII season at Media Days, where we first interviewed senior forward/guard Megan Ronhovde, who gave an impressive interview about her team and her thoughts on this season. Now, four months later, as her left ankle was being looked over and taped by trainers, I caught up with Ronhovde again in the Cyclone locker room. Here's the transcript of our conversation tonight....

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Big XII: Wrap-Up Part 1: Iowa State Savors Moment In Sun

Iowa State Coach Bill Fennelly walked into the press room with an ear-to-ear grin. Never mind that the Cyclones had one really tough game ahead. Never mind that one of his stars, Megan Ronhovde, was walking into that same press room with an iced-up left ankle. This was one of the biggest and most significant wins in the history of the program, and Fennelly and his players were going to savor the moment.

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Big XII: Wrap-Up Part 1: Iowa State Savors Moment In Sun

Iowa State Coach Bill Fennelly walked into the press room with an ear-to-ear grin. Never mind that the Cyclones had one really tough game ahead. Never mind that one of his stars, Megan Ronhovde, was walking into that same press room with an iced-up left ankle. This was one of the biggest and most significant wins in the history of the program, and Fennelly and his players were going to savor the moment.

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March 08, 2007

Big XII: Ugly Ending to Sooner Victory

Baylor played hard all game against Oklahoma, but the way they'll leave the Big XII tournament is not what most would consider the dignified approach.

First, Jessica Morrow received a technical foul after fouling out, which pretty much nailed the coffin shut for Baylor. Then, Latara Darrett rushed to committ a foul with 2.6 seconds left, enraging the OU crowd, who was ready to celebrate their victory. Darrett received a technical foul as well, and the Sooners turned it into what was the final margin, 78-64, sending the Bears home disgraced, and setting up the championship final between the hometown favorite and the gutsy darkhorse.

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Big XII: OU Starting to Pull Away Late

Jessica Morrow's fourth foul really hurt Baylor inside, and the Sooners are exploiting that to pull away from Baylor in this game. Jenna Plumley's feed from Courtney Paris ended in a lay-up, extending OU's lead to 69-61 with just over a minute to go.

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Big XII: Foul Troubles Plaguing Both

We've got some foul trouble in a very close game for both teams. Baylor's Jessica Morrow, who's got 23 points, had to take a seat after getting her fourth foul. Meanwhile, OU's Jenna Plumley, who has 14 points of her own, also has 4 fouls.

The crowd though is as deafening as it's ever been here, as Courtney Paris stuck a missed shot back in, and then stole a pass from Angela Tisdale to get the crowd REALLY pumped up. Fans of both teams are on their feet screaming, as OU has the ball and a 63-59 lead with 4:14 to go.

Big XII: Foul Troubles Plaguing Both

We've got some foul trouble in a very close game for both teams. Baylor's Jessica Morrow, who's got 23 points, had to take a seat after getting her fourth foul. Meanwhile, OU's Jenna Plumley, who has 14 points of her own, also has 4 fouls.

The crowd though is as deafening as it's ever been here, as Courtney Paris stuck a missed shot back in, and then stole a pass from Angela Tisdale to get the crowd REALLY pumped up. Fans of both teams are on their feet screaming, as OU has the ball and a 63-59 lead with 4:14 to go.

Big XII: Chelsi's Turn

She's been quiet all night long, but when Baylor took its first lead in the second half, Chelsi Welch stepped up in a big way. In a span of 1:20, Welch scored eight consecutive points for the Sooners, and has reclaimed the lead for Oklahoma, 50-48 with 11:45 to go in this one.

The teams are charging back and forth...no doubt every inch of adrenaline is all being left out on the court tonight in Oklahoma City. We resume play with OU having the ball and a two point lead, thanks to Chelsi Welch's hot hand.

Big XII: Morrow gives BU the lead

We've got one heck of a game going on...down by as many as 15 in the first half, Jessica Morrow's 3-pointer with 14:32 to go gives Baylor a 43-42 lead on the Sooners. Morrow's scored the last 10 points for the Bears, and has a 10-2 run going by herself.

Big XII: Morrow gives BU the lead

We've got one heck of a game going on...down by as many as 15 in the first half, Jessica Morrow's 3-pointer with 14:32 to go gives Baylor a 43-42 lead on the Sooners. Morrow's scored the last 10 points for the Bears, and has a 10-2 run going by herself.

Big XII: Baylor Charging Back

What seemed to be a game in OU's control is now becoming another barnburner here at the Cox Center. An inspired Baylor team came out roaring in the second half, and with a 10-3 run and a free throw by Jessica Morrow still to be shot, OU's lead is down to 40-37 with 16:14 to go in the game.

I'm impressed with Baylor's energy this half...they've forced four turnovers out of Jenna Plumley's hands this half, and have turned it to transition layups and jumpers. Baylor has turned the tables on the Sooners, and right now, we've got another classic going on here in OKC!

Morrow hits the free throw... 40-38 Oklahoma

Big XII: OU up, but Baylor rallies

With 3:18 to go in the half, and Oklahoma up 31-18. Courtney Paris picked up her second foul and had to take a seat on the bench. Without Paris on the floor, Baylor rallied, going on a 9-3 run to close the half and narrow Oklahoma's lead to 34-27 at halftime.

If I was Baylor, getting Courtney Paris is foul trouble would be priority number one on my list. When she's on the floor, OU is confident, organized, and Baylor's defenses collapse under OU's interior strength. However, when Paris is sitting, Baylor was able to go inside more, get some easier shots in the paint, and also kick it out for more open looks from the perimeter.

OU is a different team when Courtney's out...it's a message every team headed to March Madness should take to heart.

Big XII: Double Trouble...OU takes command

What's worse than having to defend Courtney Paris?

Defending her AND her twin sister Ashley.

The Paris sisters have assumed control of this game in a hurry, as Courtney's 11 points and Ashley's 4 points and monsterous screens have turned this thing into a possible repeat of last week, as OU now leads 29-16 with 5:43 to go in the half.

Continue reading "Big XII: Double Trouble...OU takes command" »

Big XII: Double Trouble...OU takes command

What's worse than having to defend Courtney Paris?

Defending her AND her twin sister Ashley.

The Paris sisters have assumed control of this game in a hurry, as Courtney's 11 points and Ashley's 4 points and monsterous screens have turned this thing into a possible repeat of last week, as OU now leads 29-16 with 5:43 to go in the half.

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Big XII: Baylor Passes First Test

OU made it's first big push with a 9-0 run over a three minute span. Jenna Plumley had seven of those nine points, and her 3-pointer put the Sooners up 15-9, and got the crowd here rocking the rafters. However, Baylor, under the pressure of the crowd and an Oklahoma run, answered the call, and Jhasmin Player's jumper has cut the OU lead to 15-12 with 11:00 to go.

Last week, Baylor wilted under these early tests, and it led to an 88-61 throttling by the Sooners. Tonight, the first test for the Bears was passed, but many more are to come from this Oklahoma team.

Big XII: Baylor and OU Set to Go

First off, we'll have comments from the post-game of Iowa State's win later on in our nightly wrap-up.

But now, we shift focus to the crowd of around 9,000 fans who are packed into the Cox Convention Center, as tipoff is abuot to begin between Sherri Coale's #2 Sooners and Kim Mulkey's #3 Baylor Bears.

We are set to go here tonight from Oklahoma City.

Big XII: The Darkhorse Is IN! Iowa St. shocks A&M

Before this tournament begin, I said Iowa State was the darkhorse of this tournament; that the Cyclones were a very dangerous team. Tonight, the Cyclones have made yet another statement, shocking Texas A&M 57-51 and advancing to the championship of the Big XII Women's Tournament.

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Big XII: Cyclones Smelling the Upset

We're at fever pitch here at the Cox Convention Center, as Iowa State has pushed their lead to seven, thanks to baskets by Ezell and Toccara Ross.

A&M finally got their 7th foul, sending Alison Lacey to the line. She makes the first...and the second as well.

The Cyclone bench is jumping right with their fans, as an upset is definitely brewing here in OKC. It's 57-48 ISU with 1:15 to go.

Big XII: Down to the Wire...Yet Again

A&M tied the game at 47 on a jumper by Patrice Reado, but back to back jumpers by Nicky Wieben and Toccara Ross have given the Cyclones a 51-47 lead with 3:56 to go.

As I typed the above, A&M sent La Toya Micheaux to the line. She made the first, but missed the second, and the Cyclones have the ball as we go under three minutes.

Big XII: Down to the Wire...Yet Again

A&M tied the game at 47 on a jumper by Patrice Reado, but back to back jumpers by Nicky Wieben and Toccara Ross have given the Cyclones a 51-47 lead with 3:56 to go.

As I typed the above, A&M sent La Toya Micheaux to the line. She made the first, but missed the second, and the Cyclones have the ball as we go under three minutes.

Big XII: Aggies Making Their Push

A sudden dry spell for Iowa State has culminated with a quick six point spurt by Texas A&M, and A'Quonesia Franklin's 3-pointer with 9:27 to go has cut the Cyclone lead to 43-41. Meanwhile, Megan Ronhovde turned over her left ankle and is hobbling back to the bench.

It's another close game with the Cyclones...is that a shock to anyone?

The Sooners just returned to the tunnel, again to a standing ovation and cheers from the crowd.

Big XII: OU's Rock Star Entrance

The biggest roar of the game just happened, and it had nothing to do with what happened on the court. Sherri Coale and the Oklahoma Sooners walked in from the southwest tunnel to a huge standing ovation from several thousand eager OU fans, waiting to see their beloved team take on Baylor following this game.

So far, it's more of the same. ISU has hit only five shots this half, but all of them have been 3-pointers, and they continue to lead Texas A&M. With 11:17 to go in the game, it's a 43-37 Cyclone lead, as the ISU band and cheerleaders take to the floor to try and wake up the Cyclone supporters....though I doubt anyone can drown out OU's fans right now.

Big XII: 3-point barrage continues for ISU

Five minutes have gone by in the second half, and Iowa State holds a 37-32 lead, thanks to their continued 3-point shooting. Amanda Nisleit, Megan Ronhovde and Alison Lacey have all hit from beyond the arc, while A&M has relied on Takia Starks to keep up so far.

The Cyclones will have the ball when play resumes, as more fans continue to fill the Cox Convention Center...most of them Sooner fans who await the nightcap showdown with Baylor tonight.

Big XII: Students Vital In Success of Tournament

So many volunteers lend their time and efforts to this Big XII Tournament, and it would be hard to mention all of them and what they do. However, one group of volunteers stands apart....they're a group of students from various Big XII schools who willingly drove down to Oklahoma City to help in whatever way they could for the conference office, and recently I caught up with one of those volunteer students.

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Big XII: Iowa State takes slim lead at half

Heather Ezell's 3-pointer with 2:09 left in the half turned out to be the last basket in the half, as Iowa State leads Texas A&M 28-25. The Cyclone fans are on their feet and going wild, while the A&M fans are a little surprised by what's happened.

STAT OF THE HALF: A&M scored just four points in the last 9:57, as Iowa State's defense kicked into high gear and held off the Aggies inside.

SURPRISE STAR: Heather Ezell's two 3-pointers late have made the difference for Iowa State. No doubt that the Aggies now realize they have more than just Medders to guard on the perimeter.

LOCKER ROOM TALK: Iowa State's got to be happy with where they are, but they know that A&M is a big, physical team, and they know they have to protect the paint inside, while Medders has to be all over Takia Starks arond the perimeter. And so far, Medders has done outstanding in guarding Starks, who hit two 3-pointers early but since then has been shut out. As for Texas A&M, they've got to focus more on the perimeter defense. They have the size advantage over the Cyclones....guard the outside and don't worry as much about going inside.

FAN(S) OF THE GAME: They go to the ISU students who showed up in yellow hats and body paint. The Cyclones have a huge advantage in fan support tonight, which says a lot about their fan base, given Ames is nine hours from Oklahoma City.

More to come from Oklahoma City...but right now, it's Iowa State on top.

Big XII: Is there a NBA line here?

Over at the Ford Center, where the men are playing, the NBA 3-point line is painted on the court. The Cox Center doesn't have it, but ISU must see it in their minds, because Lyndsey Medders and Heather Ezell have both launched 3-pointers from 25 feet away and drained them, tying this game at 25 and bringing this arena to a fever pitch, as the ISU faithful are making themselves be heard over the A&M band.

A&M has the ball with 3:49 to go....but the question is how long can the Cyclones keep making these incredible long-range shots?

Big XII: 7-0 Run Gives Aggies Lead Again

The Cyclones are having a tough time guarding Texas A&M's Patrice Reado, who is owning the interior for the Aggies. With her lay-ups and another 3-point bomb from Takia Starks, the Aggies have jumped back on top, 21-17. It's the inside-outside game of the Aggies that makes them tough,and right now, ISU still has found no defensive answer.

Meanwhile, Alison Lacey is heating up for the Cyclones, scoring the last 4 points for ISU on hook shots...but it's now 23-19 Aggies, 6:45 to go in the first half.

Big XII: The Drought Is Over

It took her 48 minutes and 16 seconds, but Megan Ronhovde has finally made her first FG in this Big XII tournament, hitting a 3-pointer with the shot clock going down to give ISU its first lead of the game at 15-14.

The Cyclone fans are raucous right now, while A&M isn't feeling down...but is staying pretty cool and collected. It's a battle of emotions right now in OKC.

Big XII: Aggies with slim lead early

A&M jumped out to a quick five point lead, but Lyndsey Medders answered right back with a 3-pointer to make it a 14-12 Aggie lead at the first media timeout.

A&M is playing well in the paint, as ISU's 2-3 zone isn't working as well as Bill Fennelly wanted. Meanwhile, though, ISU's transition offense on the inbounds pass has been exceptional, as it's led to three lay-up baskets early for the Cyclones.

Play resumes with the ball in ISU's hands.

Big XII: Day 3 Set to Begin with ISU - A&M

Welcome back to Day 3 of action at the 2007 Women's Big XII Tournament at Oklahoma City's Cox Convention Center! We've got four teams playing tonight that are NCAA locks, and should make for some really great basketball. Up first tonight is a showdown between Gary Blair and his top-seeded Texas A&M Aggies, and Bill Fennelly's never-say-die Iowa State Cyclones.

Continue reading "Big XII: Day 3 Set to Begin with ISU - A&M" »

Big XII: Day 3 Set to Begin with ISU - A&M

Welcome back to Day 3 of action at the 2007 Women's Big XII Tournament at Oklahoma City's Cox Convention Center! We've got four teams playing tonight that are NCAA locks, and should make for some really great basketball. Up first tonight is a showdown between Gary Blair and his top-seeded Texas A&M Aggies, and Bill Fennelly's never-say-die Iowa State Cyclones.

Continue reading "Big XII: Day 3 Set to Begin with ISU - A&M" »

Big XII: Day 2 Wrap-Up

We had three close, competitive games and a blowout on the first day of the 2007 Big XII Women's Tournament. Today, we had three blowouts, and one game that was not only close, it was a thriller of a game that people will be talking about for quite awhile.

Continue reading "Big XII: Day 2 Wrap-Up" »

Big XII: Baylor wins handily, OU next

Baylor wasted very little energy in the second half, and the Bears will head into tomorrow's semifinals with a 71-54 win over Kansas to their credit. The Jayhawks end their season at 11-20, while Baylor continues to work its way up the seeds in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

Continue reading "Big XII: Baylor wins handily, OU next" »

March 07, 2007

Big XII: Henrickson picks up the T, KU fans cheer

Baylor's Angela Tisdale was fighting to steal the ball from Kansas's Danielle McCray. The refs said Tisdale successfully stole the ball and was fouled. Jayhawks Coach Bonnie Henrickson disagreed and said something to the refs. It wasn't a yell, because right now, the crowd is so small that you can hear the coaches if they're yelling. What she said though was enough to earn a technical foul, to which then Henrickson shouted "WHAT?" (which everyone in the arena heard), followed by a small roaring ovation from the section of Jayhawk fans.

It's just been that kind of night for Kansas.

Angela Tisdale's free throws now have made it a 49-32 Baylor lead with 11:30 to go...and the Bears seem to have this one wrapped up. At least the OU staff thinks so, as they have quit scouting the Bears and have gone home.

Big XII: All Baylor at the Half...and Coale's Staying Put

Baylor has cruised to a 35-19 lead on Kansas at the hafl, as Sherri Coale and company are watching from press row. Bernice Mosby has 10 points to lead the Bears, while Shaquina Mosley also has 10 to lead KU.

As Coale got up, I asked her half-heartedly if she was thinking about heading towards Baton Rouge.

"No way," said a grinning Coale, whose hero status in Oklahoma will keep her in the Sooner State for years to come.

The crowd is starting to empty out, as now just the small contingents of Jayhawk and Bear fans remain. The neutral fans are bailing for the exits, ready for the action tomorrow.

However, there's still 20 minutes to be played here...and Baylor seems determined to leave tonight on a very high note.

Big XII: Baylor Running Away from KU

Gary Blair told reporters after his team's win today that he always felt the team with a bye had a disadvantage; that the team that played the day before is less rusty and a little more prepared for what was to come.

If he saw this first half, maybe he'd change his mind a little. Baylor is absolutely running Kansas into the ground, and have pushed their lead to 32-17 over the exhausted Jayhawks, as we have just 1:40 to go in the first half.

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Big XII: Baylor Running Away from KU

Gary Blair told reporters after his team's win today that he always felt the team with a bye had a disadvantage; that the team that played the day before is less rusty and a little more prepared for what was to come.

If he saw this first half, maybe he'd change his mind a little. Baylor is absolutely running Kansas into the ground, and have pushed their lead to 32-17 over the exhausted Jayhawks, as we have just 1:40 to go in the first half.

Continue reading "Big XII: Baylor Running Away from KU" »

Big XII: 10-0 Run Has Baylor On Top

After a close first five minutes...Baylor has assumed control of the game, working the ball inside to a variety of Bears, and now take a 16-6 lead with 9:10 to go in the first half.

The Jayhawks are slumping miserably right now. They can't buy a bucket for their lives (no points in the last seven minutes), and just can't stop the more physical Bears inside. The Bears D is also playing extremely well...as KU has had trouble handling the ball since the Baylor run started.

It's 18-6 Baylor now on a quick layup by Danielle Wilson. With 7:56 left to go in the first half, Kansas desperately needs to stop the bleeding.

Big XII: New Tournament Record Set

Oklahoma just broke the Big XII Tournament record for blocked shots in a game. The Sooners blocked 15 Texas shots, smashing the old record of 10 set by Kansas State in 2003. Leading the way were Courtney Paris and Amanda Thompson with five blocks apiece, while Ashley Paris had three blocks of her own.

Right now, it's a defensive battle in the nightcap, with Baylor leading Kansas 4-3 after the first 3:30 of the game.

Big XII: Setting Up the Day's Final Game

A good chunk of the crowd has stayed to watch the fourth and final game of today's session, as third-seeded Baylor gets set to face the tournament's Cinderella: 11th seed Kansas.

How good a chunk? Let's put it this way. Sherri Coale just walked behind press row to get to the locker room, and about 3/4 of the crowd gave her a one minute standing ovation.

The clock is winding down and lineups are about to be announced, so here's a quick lowdown on this game.

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Big XII: Sooners Win Red River Shootout

Sherri Coale called the dogs off with two minutes to go, and Oklahoma eased out of the Cox Center with a 67-58 win and a huge standing ovation from thousands of happy Sooner fans.

We've got a mass exodus going on as we speak, as everyone but the media and staff must exit the arena, then re-enter, should they choose to watch the next game. They really should return, as Baylor and Kansas could be a great matchup to end the night.

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Big XII: It's Ashley's Turn

Courtney Paris tore apart Texas to start the second half, and now it's her twin sister Ashley who's nailing the coffin down. Scoring 10 of the last 14 points for the Sooners, Ashley has helped keep the Sooner lead at 16, and it's now 62-46, as Texas is running out of time to salvage their season.

The Sooners are just so much stronger and more physical than the Longhorns right now. Texas is starting to run out of gas, shooting more long range bombs from beyond the arc than trying to work a set play inside, and OU is making them pay for it.

Courtney's leading the way for OU with 17, while her sister Ashley has 14 and Jenna Plumley's got 12, as we're under five minutes left to go in the game.

Big XII: Paris Taking Over

In history, the city of Paris seemed to be taken over by about everyone who tried. In basketball though, it's Paris...Courtney Paris, that is, who's doing the taking over. Paris has scored the first eight of the second half, and has a free throw waiting for her with 15:32 to go, with OU now up 41-26 on Texas.

Everyone in this arena was waiting for Courtney Paris to make her mark in this game, and now that it's happening as we speak, perhaps this is OU's attempt to put the nail in the Longhorn coffin early.

Paris makes her free throw, and play resumes with 15:30 to go, OU up by 16.

Big XII: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Sooner Man!

Just when you thought it was safe to say you've seen it all from fanatics, you haven't met the one and only "Sooner Fan", who is the runaway winner of tonight's CSTV.com Fan of the Game.

Continue reading "Big XII: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Sooner Man!" »

Big XII: Old School vs. New School

It's halftime in Oklahoma City, with the Sooners leading Texas 33-26. The star of the game so far? How about Jenna Plumley, who came out of nowhere to score nine points in the first half.

Having watched this first half, I've noticed some differences between OU's Sherri Coale (New School) and Texas Coach Jody Conradt (Old School). Here's some of the differences I've noticed...

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Big XII: Some Things Expected...Others Not

With 3:19 to go, OU leads Texas 29-21, but the Sooners have done this in unexpected ways.

For example, who would've thought it would take 12 minutes for Courtney Paris to score her first points?

Who'd have thought that Jenna Plumley would have more than double the points of Paris at this point in the game...much less during ANY point of the game?

Who'd have thought OU would score almost 2/3 of their points beyond the arc?

Although some things are expected, you never know what you'll get during tournament play.

Big XII: Bombs Away!

So far, Oklahoma and Texas have traded baskets. The difference? OU has shot nothing but 3-pointers, making 5-7 so far, while Texas is settling for jumpers. That difference has given the Sooners an early 15-8 lead with 11:30 to go in the game.

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Big XII: Getting Set for OU and Texas

It's the Red River Shooutout of women's basketball, as Sherri Coale leads her second-seeded Oklahoma Sooners against Jody "Ms. 900" Conradt and the seventh-seeded Texas Longhorns here in front of a nearly packed and extremely electric Cox Convention Center here in Oklahoma City.

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Big XII: ISU Thrilled to win Game of the Year

No doubt, that was the best basketball game I've seen, men's or women's, this year. Iowa State and Nebraska, in 45 minutes of bumps, bruises, sweat, tears, and finally jubiliation for the women from Ames, gave us all the perfect example of what March Madness should be all about.

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Big XII: The Last Minute...Part 2

ISU up 77-76

54 seconds - Wieben misses lay-up as the shot clock expires. Nebraska rebounds the ball and moves upcourt.

47.3 seconds - NU calls timeout, as the ISU crowd starts chanting louder than ever before...this place is rocking right now.

Gary Blair just turned around to inform me that Pokey Chatman resigned at LSU. WOW.

35 seconds - Ronhovde steals the ball back for ISU, and Nebraska fouls Medders.

26.6 seconds - Medders hits the first (78-76 ISU), and the second as well (79-76 ISU). The Cyclones call timeout.

More talking between Blair, his assistants, and us in the media about Pokey Chatman...is she going to Florida maybe? This is incredible news...I'm sure Baton Rouge is shellshocked right now.

26.6 seconds - NU inbounds and tries to get an open look for the 3-pointer with Chelsea Aubry. However, Ronhovde is right on her tail...great defense by the Cyclones. Nebraska is forced to call timeout again.

7.3 seconds - NU inbounds again...Hardy loses control...gets it back...shoots... NO GOOD!

IOWA STATE WINS A THRILLER!

The crowd is going insane right now, as Iowa State will face Texas A&M tomorrow.

Big XII: ISU up halfway through OT

I asked Gary Blair if he'd like to see this game keep going. His response?

"Five overtimes," said Blair. "Five overtimes."

Danielle Page opened off the scoring with a lay-up, but Lyndsey Medders hits another 3-pointer...Cyclones by a point with 2:25 to go.

Stay tuned...this game is AWESOME!

Big XII: The Last Minute - Welcome to OT!

48.7 seconds - Megan Ronhovde is fouled trying to make a short jumper. She misses the first FT, but makes the second. NU 68-67

20 seconds - Hardy throws up a 3-pointer for Nebraska that bounces off the rim. Wieben grabs the rebound and pushes the ball up. In the corner, Lacey, guarded heavily, calls timeout.

12.2 seconds - Lacey throws the ball to Medders, but Medders is unable to hold on, Nebraska steal. Page is fouled.

9.7 seconds - Page hits the first FT (69-67 NU)...and the second (70-67)

1.7 seconds - Lyndsey Medders, running like crazy to find an open look, takes the 3-point shot and HITS IT!

OVERTIME IN OKLAHOMA CITY!!!!!

Big XII: Down to the Wire

It's 68-66 Nebraska with 1:04 to go.

Nebraska tied it thanks to Kelsey Griffin's 2 free throws, and Danielle Page's putback with 1:11 to go gave the Huskers the two point edge.

Iowa State's got the ball with a minute to go, and Medders, in the middle of swarming Husker hands, called a timeout for the Cyclones.

And all I've said in the last 2 minutes has been WOW....WOW....and WOW.

Big XII: Nailbiter in OKC

Hold on to your seats, cause we have a game here in Oklahoma City.

Iowa State has finally gotten over the hump, as a 3-pointer by Alison Lacey gave the Cyclones a 57-55 lead, their first lead since 6-5 in the fist half. Chelsea Aubry responds for Nebraska with a long-range 3-pointer of her own, and Nebraska now hs a 58-57 lead with 6:54 left to go in the game.

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Big XII: Iowa State Fighting Back

The Cyclone D, led by Megan Ronhovde, has been outstanding this half, holding Nebraska to just six points in the first nine minutes, and Iowa State has clawed back to within two points, 51-49, with 11:01 to go. ISU has also benefitted from the emergence of Toccora Ross, who now has eight points in the game.

No question, this game has the makings of an instant classic, as the ISU fans have awakened this arena to loud cheers and GO CYCLONES chants. However, Nebraska has stayed composed for the moment, scoring on a one-handed, off-balance prayer by Kelsey Griffin to push the Husker lead back up to four.

Should be a barnburner again in OKC, as Nebraska tries to stop a persistent Iowa State squad.

Big XII: 8-0 run gives Huskers big halftime lead

The 3-point missiles from Nebraska are hitting their targets with precision, especially in the last two minutes. First, Jelena Spiric's deep bomb gave the Huskers a 40-36 lead, and then, after a Chelsea Aubry lay-up, Cory Montgomery launched another 3-pointer to give NU a 45-36 lead at the half over a shellshocked ISU squad.

Continue reading "Big XII: 8-0 run gives Huskers big halftime lead" »

Big XII: Twisting like a Cyclone

The ISU band is swaying as they play, and the entire ISU section, which covers around 1,000 fans, is swaying right along with them. Nebraska had jumped out to a 30-20 lead, thanks to the inside play of Danielle Page. However, Alison Lacey's eight point tear over two minutes have brought the Cyclones back in the game, and now, the Huskers are holding a narrow 34-32 lead with 3:29 to go.

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Big XII: Internet Back Up, Wild Start to ISU-NU

Sorry for the technical delay here in OKC...funny how we're in an arena sponsored by a company that provides wireless Internet, and yet, we keep having wireless problems here. Anyways, ISU-Nebraska is underway, and right now, the Huskers have a 25-20 lead with 7:45 to go.

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Big XII: Aggies Coast to Easy Win

The first semifinalist in the Big XII Tournament is top-seeded Texas A&M, who never looked back in the second half en route to a 62-45 win over an exhausted Colorado bunch. The Aggies were more physical, quicker, and pretty much proved why they were Big XII champions this season.

A&M will face the winner of Iowa State-Nebraska, while Colorado ends their season at 13-17.

Stay tuned for further coverage as we continue Day 2 here in Oklahoma City!

Big XII: Banner Day

During the first day, the banners remained untouched and unharmed, but today, A&M has sent Colorado flying into the scorer's table twice, and the banner has taken the brunt of it all.

In the first half, Susie Powers met the banner head-on when diving for a ball in a desperate attempt to beat the flying Takia Starks to it, and that collapsed the entire left side of the banner. But just now, Danielle Grant sent Colorado's Hannah Skildum deep into the banner and under the scorer's table, as she aggressively knocked the ball out of Skildum's hands. The ball soared about eight feet in the air before Grant grabbed it, fed it to the speedy Starks, who drove in for the lay-up and drew the foul.

It's been a banner day for Colorado...just not in the most positive sense.

54-37 Aggies with 4:55 to go in the game.

Big XII: A&M Pulling Away from Buffs

Gary Blair finally got his wish, and the Aggies began to crank up the tempo, leading to more transition baskets for Texas A&M, and sending them into halftime with a 26-15 lead over Colorado, who has looked helpless offensively until the last minute, where they scored five of their 15 points.

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Big XII: A&M Pulling Away from Buffs

Gary Blair finally got his wish, and the Aggies began to crank up the tempo, leading to more transition baskets for Texas A&M, and sending them into halftime with a 26-15 lead over Colorado, who has looked helpless offensively until the last minute, where they scored five of their 15 points.

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Big XII: CU Shut Down, but A&M Ice Cold

Texas A&M is doing a great job against Colorado defensively. Colorado is having fits trying to get the ball into McFarland's hands, and Whitney Houston, Jasmina Ilic, and Kara Richards have not stepped up to help at all. A&M has completely owned the paint on both ends of the floor.

But A&M can't make their shots.

Continue reading "Big XII: CU Shut Down, but A&M Ice Cold" »

Big XII: Key Stat of the Game: Off. Rebounds

Texas A&M has the early 7-4 lead over Colorado, but if you're a Buffaloes fan, there already seems to be a disturbing trend in the game. CU is not rebounding the ball at ALL on the defensive glass. A&M has been cleaning the glass offensively on the Buffaloes, and it's cost them early. If Colorado doesn't attack the boards much harder, this game could get ugly pretty quick.

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Big XII: Game Time Approaches

The teams are about to take the floor for their last warm-up before today's game, in front of a sparse but energetic crowd here in Oklahoma City. The bands are set, the national anthem has been played, and we're just waiting now for tipoff.

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Big XII: Welcome to Day 2!

It's an incredibly beautiful day outside in Oklahoma City, as fans are just now filing into the Cox Convention Center to open Day 2 of the 2007 Big XII Women's Tournament.. Four highly anticipated games await us, and it should make for a fantastic day of hoops action!

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Big XII: Day One Wrap-Up

We're down to eight teams in the Big XII Women's Tournament, as four great games were played tonight at Oklahoma City's Cox Convention Center. As I've now left the arena, here are some thoughts (and some awards) from today's session.

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Big XII: Cyclones Relieved, but Re-focused

I know that Iowa fans would probably not want to hear this, but the Iowa State Cyclones have been the gold standard for us members of the media. They were very excited to talk basketball during Media Days, and after this afternoon's hard-fought 57-45 win over Kansas State, they were just as excited and friendly in post-game discussions.

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Big XII: Victory Sweet Medicine for Kansas

It seemed as if everyone, from the players, coaches, band, spirit squads...even the Jayhawk beat writers were all smiles following the surprising 71-62 victory by Kansas over Oklahoma State.

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March 06, 2007

Big XII: Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk: KU Upsets Cowgirls

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have an upset.

Kansas, playing inspired, aggressive, and with nothing to lose, came into Oklahoma City and stunned Oklahoma State 71-62, putting a severe blow on OSU's chances to go to the Big Dance, and continuing the Jayhawks' year, as they march on to take on Baylor tomorrow night.

Stay tuned, as CSTV.com will have coverage and post-game analysis on the upset, plus game day wrap-up and the much promised post-game article on Iowa State, delayed by a blow to the wireless Internet.

Once again, we've got your upset: #11 seed Kansas shocks the homestanding Cowgirls 71-62.

Big XII: Upset Alert - Here Comes Kansas

This game has gone back and forth and back again, but Kansas has made its push late in the game. A 9-0 run over the last five minutes has given the Jayhawks a 61-55 lead with 2:39 to go in the game, silencing a stunned orange clad mass here at the Cox Convention Center, and sending the small band of Kansas fans into bedlam, sensing a huge upset might be the order of the night.

OSU needs to stop the bleeding, but Kansas has the ball right now....is this the first upset of the tournament???

Big XII: Guns and Horns

What describes the OSU pep band and spirit sqauds?

Guns...and horns.

With every timeout, a cap fun gets fired by Pistol Pete, the OSU Cowboy, and the band, which is almost entirely horn, leads the OSU fans in cheers. The most interesting one though is when all the band goes quiet and a tuba begins to slowly play a beat, as all the Cowgirl fans clap to each note. It's an eerie, yet totally unique moment that's really cool to witness firsthand.

OSU leads 55-54 with 4:50 to go.

Big XII: Back and Forth

So far, the second half has equaled the first, as added defensive pressure has slowed both offenses down, but the two teams continue to battle back and forth in what has been a close, tight, well-played game. Thanks to a 3-pointer by Shaquina Mosley, Kansas has reclaimed the lead at 50-47 with 11:38 to go in the game.

A new star has appeared for the Jayhawks in the form of Taylor McIntosh. With OSU pressuring Kohn and McCray, KU has gone inside more often, and McIntosh has delivered with six points this half. Meanwhile, KU has done a fantastic job early of slowing down Andrea Riley, who has just one point this half, and Rashida Sadiq, who finally scored her first point of the half with 11:04 to go.

It's now 50-49 in favor of Kansas....10:37 to go

Big XII: Cowgirls surge ahead at the half

In a game that's featured two great performances, Oklahoma State has grabbed its biggest lead of the game, 41-36, thanks to a 3-pointer by Andrea Riley right before the buzzer. For most, it would seem like a huge momentum boost for the Cowgirls, but Kansas has played inspired basketball, and the Jayhawks have to be pleased with how close the game has been.

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Big XII: Cowgirl Comeback, KU up in close one

The nerves having seemed to vanish, OSU went on an 11-0 tear to take its first lead at 18-16. However, Kansas has shown that they are in no mood to fold to the Cowgirls. Kelly Kohn sparked an 8-2 run for the Jayhawks, and now it's 26-25 Kansas with 7:45 to go.

The small band of Kansas fans are cheering, but remain cautious, knowing that the Jayhawks need to continue playing this hard to have a chance of pulling the upset. OSU's crowd is currently on their feet and clapping, trying to rally on their team. Although not down, the Cowgirl fans are somewhat stunned by the solid performance of Kansas tonight.

Continue reading "Big XII: Cowgirl Comeback, KU up in close one" »

Big XII: KU stuns crowd, jumps out early

It might be a sea of orange in the crowd tonight, but it's the 11th seeded Jayhawks who've opened up the game on a run. Danielle McCray is unconscious right now, going 3 for 3, including two trifectas, and Kansas has a 14-7 lead on Oklahoma State with 14:54 to go in the first half.

The Cowgirls looked a little rattled and definitely nervous, while Kansas has come out playing with an attitude of nothing to lose, and that's why so many times in March Madness, the upsets become more common. OSU has a lot to play for, and with the crowd decidely in their favor, the pressure is completely on them.

Big XII: The Skinny on OSU - Kansas

As we head into the fourth and final game in tonight's slate, let's take a look at the 6th-ranked OSU Cowgirls and the 11th seeded Kansas Jayhawks.

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Big XII: Conradt Wins 900th Game, Texas Advances

Finally, what was known to be the end result in the first half has arrived in the form of a 70-57 Texas win, the 900th victory in the long and successful career of head coach Jody Conradt. Missouri made a last desperate push to make the game interesting, but could get no closer than 13 points as the Longhorns were on cruise control for most of the second half.

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Big XII: Stein Gets Tourney's First Technical

Missouri Coach Cindy Stein has been frustrated for most of the game, but with the Texas players pushing her smaller Tigers around, she finally had enough, snapping at the refs and picking up the tournament's first technical foul. Earnesia Williams hit the free throws to push the Texas lead, which Mizzou had actually managed to cut down to 10 at one point, back up to 58-40 with 12:32 to go.

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Big XII: Get Ready for an OU-Texas Showdown

Few games could make the Cox Convention Center rock like a showdown between hated rivals Oklahoma and Texas. At the half, with the 'Horns up 46-27, it appears that we'll have a shootout tomorrow night in Oklahoma City.

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Big XII: Texas Blowing Out Mizzou

This isn't much of a game right now, and except for the small contingent of Texas fans, it's a stunned and quiet Cox Convention Center. Texas has pushed their lead to 20 with 7:25 to go in the game, and the Missouri bench already looks dejected and beaten.

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Big XII: Texas Up Early on Missouri

First off, sorry to everyone for the technical difficulties! (Internet server went down). We have interviews with Iowa State that will be posted as soon as I can find some free time!

Meanwhile, Texas has jumped out of the gate quickly on Missouri. The Longhorns have become the first team of the tournament to come out of the gate STRONG. Going inside from the start, Emeisha Bailey and Brittany Raven have had field days for the Horns, as they've jumped to a quick 20-9 lead with 13:36 to go in the first half.

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Big XII: Texas Up Early on Missouri

First off, sorry to everyone for the technical difficulties! (Internet server went down). We have interviews with Iowa State that will be posted as soon as I can find some free time!

Meanwhile, Texas has jumped out of the gate quickly on Missouri. The Longhorns have become the first team of the tournament to come out of the gate STRONG. Going inside from the start, Emeisha Bailey and Brittany Raven have had field days for the Horns, as they've jumped to a quick 20-9 lead with 13:36 to go in the first half.

Continue reading "Big XII: Texas Up Early on Missouri" »

Big XII: Cyclones Finish Off KSU, 57-45

The afternoon session is in the books, as Iowa State advances to face Nebraska tomorrow, beating the Kansas State Wildcats 57-45 today in Oklahoma City.

We'll have more to come from the Cox Convention Center, including post-game analysis, and a look to this evening's session, with four teams still left to play tonight.

But for now, it's off to post-game and to take a breather...maybe find an actual bottle of water...it's all Sunkist or Diet Sunkist in this place!

Big XII: Cyclones Starting to Pull Away

Finally, the run that ISU was looking for became reality, as the Cyclones have pushed the lead to eight, 51-43, with 3:07 to go. The run was sparked by a string of 3-pointers by Lyndsey Medders, Nicky Wieben, and Alison Lacey, and KSU has had no answer from the perimeter, relying only on inside buckets from Ashley Sweat and Shana Wheeler to get points.

It's starting to unravel for the Wildcats, and the mass of red and gold across from me at press row are becoming raucous, sensing blood in the water, and victory for their beloved Cyclones.

Just now, Nicky Wieben completed a 3-point play for ISU, who are feeling it right now and getting more and more pumped by the second. It's Iowa State by 11 now, 54-43, with two minutes to go in the game.

Big XII: Fan of the Game

As the Cyclone cheer squads take the floor during a timeout, it's definitely time to announce today's Fan of the Game, which goes to a man from Iowa State with a mustard yellow suitcoat, a red and yellow striped tie, maroon colored slacks, and a bright red visor. Add to that a bright yellow rally rag, and this guy will have a future after this tournament as the poster boy for McDonald's.

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Big XII: Defensive Slugfest Reaches Halftime

It hasn't been the prettiest game stat-wise, but Iowa State has gone to halftime with a 24-20 win over Kansas State. Despite the Cyclones shooting just 6-21 from the field, they've played outstanding defense, and shut out K-State star Claire Coggins in the first half.

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Big XII: Finally, K-State scores a basket

It took K-State over eight minutes to get an actual basket, but they finally did so on a prayer by Shalee Lehning. Iowa State went into a 2-3 zone, and Lehning drove inside, only to be met by ISU's Amanda Nesleit. Lehning dropped down and threw an underhanded, granny-type shot up, and it rolled around the rim before falling into the net.

Nice, dramatic shot for the Cats. Nevertheless, they trail 8-3 with 11:25 to go in the first half.

Big XII: Defensive Struggle Early

This game is going to be a physical one, as Iowa State has taken a 4-0 lead after the first four minutes. Unlike the first game though, where sloppy play kept the scoring low, it's physical defense and scrappy play that has made this a tight defensive game.

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Big XII: All Set for Iowa State - Kansas State

We now focus our attention to a much more filled Cox Convention Center, as the #5 Iowa State Cyclones take on #12 seed Kansas State. The arena is a lot more lively, thanks in part to the large number of ISU fans who have made this trip.

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Big XII: CU's Miss Everything

The post-game conference was basically a coronation ceremony, where CU forward Jackie McFarland received her proper title of Miss Everything, following Colorado's 71-67 win over Texas Tech.

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Big XII: Dramatic Final Minute gives CU win

For a game that started out as ugly as it did, it ended in grand dramatic fashion, as Colorado held on for a huge 71-67 victory over Texas Tech.

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Big XII: Dramatic Final Minute gives CU win

For a game that started out as ugly as it did, it ended in grand dramatic fashion, as Colorado held on for a huge 71-67 victory over Texas Tech.

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Big XII: Down to the Wire

It looked as if Texas Tech was going to finally pull away, as Patrice Edwards sparked a 7-2 run to give the Raiders a 54-49 lead. However, after a timeout, CU begin to go exclusively inside to its power players: Jackie McFarland and Kara Richards. The result? Texas Tech is sitting in foul trouble, and the two teams have continued to swap leads, with Tech currently up 63-62 with 3:26 left.

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Big XII: CU Band, Mascot Having Fun

You've got to give credit to the mascot and band from Colorado today. They're enjoying every moment of their time in Oklahoma City, including singing and dancing to Tech's band. The enthusiasm is being carried to their fans, and with the Buffs up in a tight game, they need all the enthusiasm they can get.

43-40 Buffs with 11:33 to go...very close, back-and-forth game going on here in OKC.

Big XII: Buffs Start Second Half Nicely

I'm patting myself on the back, because, at least this one time, I feel pretty smart.

In my last post, I said that CU needed to stop turning the ball over, and start finding other scoring options, particularly in Jasmina Ilic. So far in this half, Ilic has six of CU's eight points, and the Buffs have only turned the ball over once this half, and the result is a 36-33 Buffalo lead.

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Big XII: Tied at the Half

We're tied 28-28 at the half, as both Tech and Colorado missed shots on their last possession. However, with 3.6 seconds to go, CU's Kara Richards collected the rebound and had a chance for another shot to take the lead. Instead, she kicked it out to Houston, who couldn't get a shot off at the buzzer.

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Big XII: Now We're Talking

These last few minutes have been more of what I was hoping to see out of these two teams. Both Tech and Colorado have cranked the intensity up a notch, and for the first time, both teams are showing a semblance of a game plan, which is definitely getting a fairly quiet crowd into this game again.

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Big XII: More of the Same

You want a good example of how this game is going so far? Here's the last three possessions for both teams...

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Big XII: Slow, Ugly Start for CU, Tech

For the sake of both schools, they should hope the first 4:10 of this game has been time spent working out the kinks in their respective systems. So far, we haven't found Cinderella, but we've found her stepsisters, as this game has been ugly from tipoff.

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Big XII: Slow, Ugly Start for CU, Tech

For the sake of both schools, they should hope the first 4:10 of this game has been time spent working out the kinks in their respective systems. So far, we haven't found Cinderella, but we've found her stepsisters, as this game has been ugly from tipoff.

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Big XII: Setting It Up: Colorado vs. Texas Tech

We are just 15 minutes away from tipoff of the opening game in the Big XII Women's Tournament, featuring #8 Colorado and #9 Texas Tech. Here's the quick lowdown on this afternoon's first matchup...

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Big XII: Children Unite for CU

It's 75 minutes before the first game between #8 Colorado and #9 Texas Tech gets underway, but CU Head Coach Kathy McConnell-Miller and her Lady Buffs have won the first battle: winning over the throng of elementary school kids who have come to watch the morning session today in Oklahoma City.

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Big XII: Welcome Back to Oklahoma City!

Welcome back to the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City for the start of the Big XII Women's Tournament!

A few months ago, I was here for Media Days, as the league's coaches gave their respective outlook on their teams and the upcoming season. And now, as we head into this week's action, here's some observations of my own...

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January 18, 2007

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful

We should be right in the thick of the Big 12 season, watching opposing defenses bounce off Courtney Paris like toy soliders, but Mother Nature has other plans. Three big games in the past week have had to be rescheduled because of ice storms and "inclement weather" in the Midwest. What Ms. Nature in her infinite wisdom may not have considered, however, is whether this will this give teams more time to prepare or just force overflow from an already brimming schedule?

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October 18, 2006

Big XII: Wrapping Up Ladies Day in OKC

As Big XII Women's Media Days concluded today, and we get prepared for Men's Day tomorrow, there are some final thoughts that come to mind...

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Big XII: College Station - A Basketball Town

In a state where college football is usually challenged only by high school football, college basketball has risen up to become the talk of the town in College Station, home of the Texas A&M Aggies, who expect big things from their program this year.

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Big XII: Senior Spotlight - ISU's Megan Ronhovde

All the players and coaches that you talk to today in Oklahoma City are pleasant, generous with their time, and happy to answer anything asked of them. However, those who passed up a chance to talk to ISU's Megan Ronhovde really missed out. In her senior year, the 6-1 forward defines what the college experience should be for the student-athlete.

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Big XII: Medders leading the way for Cyclones

Ask any coach if they wanted a point guard who had 215 assists in a season, while being the team's leading scorer, and not one coach would decline the offer. It's the statistics of a consumate team player, and Iowa State has just that in 5-9 senior Lyndsey Medders.

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Big XII: Gary Blair-isms

There is no question as to who is the showman of this Media Days. The honor goes to Texas A&M Coach Gary Blair, who kept the media laughing with his comments during his interview.

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Big XII: Tech Trying to Stay Sharp

After 24 years and a national championship under her belt, Marsha Sharp decided to retire, leaving big shoes to fill in Lubbock. However, Kristy Curry was more than willing to accept the challenge, and her players are more than willing to continue the legacy that Sharp built at Texas Tech.

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Big XII: Pre-Season Poll, All-Conference Teams Announced

For those of you keeping track of what's going on here in Oklahoma City, here's a quick look at the pre-season standings, as well as a quick rundown of the Big XII pre-season All-Conference team.

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Big XII: Want A Darkhorse? Try K-State

They went 24-10 last year, won the WNIT, and return back four starters, including their top scorer. Yet, despite all the positives, Kansas State was picked to finish seventh this year in the Big XII. If you're looking for a Cinderella team, lurking in the weeds in a major conference, look no further than Manhattan, Kansas.

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Big XII: All Smiles, Laughs from Baylor

Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey told the media that Bernice Mosby, Baylor's senior captain, had a "nasty streak to her." Though this may be true on the court, it certainly wasn't off the court.

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Big XII: Paris, Brown Confident in Each Other, OU

As we moved into the one-on-one interviews, the light shined on OU stars Courtney Paris and Britney Brown, who are committed to leading the Sooners to glory.

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Big XII: Coale Not Scared to Aim High

A question was asked to OU's Sherri Coale about the fact that the Sooners are not afraid to talk about national title and Final Four hopes. Coale, for one, thinks that talking the talk goes in part with walking the walk.

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Big XII: Ready to Go in OKC

The final touches are being set to the Exhibit Hall of the Cox Convention Center, as the 2006 Big XII Women's Media Days gets set to go from Oklahoma City.

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