Gioya Carter has figured out the right speed at which she needs to play and as a result, the Oklahoma Sooners are racing through the Big 12 Conference. Carter continued her hot streak with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting as Oklahoma jumped to a big early lead, shot 54.5 percent from the field and cruised to a 73-54 win over Oklahoma State on Monday.
"Gioya has a tremendous midrange jumper that's very difficult to defend," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "If you take that away, then she'll tear you up passing the ball, which is really what she likes to do, anyway. She's just in a good space and she's allowing herself to stay on the floor, not committing silly fouls, which gives her some time to get involved in the flow."
Kaylon Williams scored 16 points and Peyton Little added 13 and grabbed seven rebounds for Oklahoma (12-5, 6-0 Big 12 Conference), which extended its winning streak to seven games, its longest since early in the 2012-13 season. Oklahoma entered the day tied with No. 3 Baylor atop the conference standings.
The last time the Sooners started Big 12 play with six wins was the 2008-09 season, when they won 13 straight league games, claimed the regular-season title with a 15-1 conference record and eventually advanced to the Final Four.
LaShawn Jones scored 15 points for Oklahoma State (12-5, 2-4), which lost consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 2, 2013. The Cowgirls, who shot 36.7 percent, fell out of the Top 25 earlier Monday.
"We're just not making shots," Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said. "Against West Virginia, our three leading scorers went 10 for 46. We're not going to win games doing that. You've just got to have some of those people step up and make open shots."
Carter averaged 5.2 points per game as the Sooners began the season 5-5, dropping out of the Top 25 in the process. But starting with a win over Yale on Dec. 30 and continuing into conference play, the sophomore guard has led Oklahoma's resurgence, averaging 17.3 points during the winning streak.
"When I used to catch it, I used to just go 100 miles an hour, catch it and go," Carter said. "Now, I'm catching it and I'm looking and I'm reading."
She scored seven points in the first four minutes, staking the Sooners to a quick lead over their Bedlam rival. Her three-point play at the 9:09 mark of the first half put Oklahoma up 27-10 and the Sooners led 36-24 at halftime.
Up 12 early in the second half, Oklahoma scored nine straight points, the last two on a layup by Williams, to extend its lead to 47-26 with 17:21 left. Oklahoma State came no closer than 16 points the rest of the way.
Kaylee Jensen scored 13 points for Oklahoma State while Roshunda Johnson added 12.
Oklahoma State: The Cowgirls did not hold a lead in the second half for the first time this season. The Cowgirls had led after halftime in earlier losses to North Carolina, Baylor, TCU and West Virginia. . Oklahoma State's next win will be the 700th in the history of the program, which started with the 1972-73 season. . Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell was called for a technical foul 4½ minutes into the game for protesting a no-call.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma has won 17 straight games against Oklahoma State in Norman. The Cowgirls last won at the Lloyd Noble Center on Feb. 7, 1998 . The Sooners' current winning streak is their longest since they won seven straight from Nov. 18 through Dec. 6 in 2012. They haven't won eight in a row since the 2008-09 season, when they won 20 straight . Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale celebrated her 50th birthday on Monday.