OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – No. 9 Texas A&M handed top-seeded and third-ranked Oklahoma a 74-62 upset in the semifinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship held Saturday afternoon at the Cox Convention Center.
The fourth-seeded Aggies (25-6) will face second-seeded and seventh-ranked Baylor (26-5) in their second consecutive and second-ever Big 12 championship game appearance in program history on Sunday, March 15 at 12:30 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net with the winner earning the league’s automatic bid to the upcoming 2009 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship field of 64. The Lady Bears defeated third-seeded Iowa State (24-8) in the second semifinal game, 63-57.
For the second-straight contest, senior All-America candidate Danielle Gant (Oklahoma City, Okla.) came up big with 17 of her game-high 22 points in the second half of play. Gant shot 7-of-8 from the floor and 8-of-9 from the free throw line to lead the Aggies past the Sooners (28-4) in back-to-back games for the third time in the all-time series.
Sophomore point guard Sydney Colson (Houston, Texas) also knocked down a career-and season-high 15 points along with five assists, two steals and a trio of three-pointers which extended A&M’s lead into double figures versus OU. The Aggies were the only league team to deny the Sooners a perfect regular season at 15-1 and account for two of the team’s four losses this year.
Junior Tanisha Smith (Kansas City, Mo.) and senior All-America candidate Takia Starks (Houston, Texas) rounded out A&M’s double-figure scorers with 13 and 12 respectively.
The A&M defense caused havoc for the Sooners throughout the ballgame with 17 turnovers which the Aggies converted into 18 points. OU senior All-American Courtney Paris was called with her third foul and played only 12 minutes in the first half as A&M took a 29-21 lead into halftime. They were never able to regain the lead in the second half. Paris fouled out of the game with 3:23 remaining in regulation, but ended with a team-high 15 points and 15 rebounds. Danielle Robinson added 11 for the Sooners.