The Oklahoma State Cowgirls knocked off Mississippi State 78-71 in the first round of the Peppermill Holiday Classic Thursday night.
OSU got another big performance out of freshman Liz Donohoe who came alive in the second half to score 19 points and lead the Cowgirls to an 8-0 start on the season.
The reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Week got off to a slow start with a pair of turnovers and only two points in the first half. The Edmond, Okla. native found her rhythm in the second and finished with a game-high 21 points—her third 20-point performance of the year thus far.
The Lady Bulldogs built a small lead in the first and led 19-14 midway through the first half after making 5-of-8 from three point range.
Toni Young and the Cowgirls responded with the next eight points including five from Young to take the lead.
Mississippi State answered and took back the lead at 22-21, but Oklahoma State found the bottom of the net on four consecutive layups from four Cowgirls to build a 9-0 run with just over four minutes to go. At halftime OSU held a 35-29 advantage despite 10 turnover and poor shooting from the three point line.
The Lady Bulldogs came out firing in the second and quickly cut the margin to two points.
OSU mounted another run scoring the next six points and with just over four minutes to go in the game Donohoe came up big.
In a three minute stretch, Donohoe scored nine consecutive points to seal the game for the Cowgirls.
The win moves Oklahoma State to 8-0 on the season and boosted them into the championship game of the tournament.
Young finished with 18 points off the bench and Tiffany Bias added 15 points and a game-high nine assists.
The Lady Bulldogs fell to 9-3 on the year with the loss. They were led by Porsha Porter with 19 points and eight rebounds.
Oklahoma State advances to play Long Island tomorrow in the championship game. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m.