Feb. 8, 2000


Asst. Coach Overton
Phylesha Whaley

By CHUCK SCHOFFNER
AP Sports Writer

AMES, Iowa (AP) - When Megan Taylor heated up, Oklahoma wilted.

Taylor hit three straight 3-pointers to spark a key second-half burst and finished with a season-high 25 points as No. 8 Iowa State ended No. 17 Oklahoma's 10-game winning streak with a 71-56 victory Tuesday night.

Her shooting blunted an Oklahoma rally and helped Iowa State (18-3) pull into a tie with the Sooners (19-4) for first place in the Big 12 at 9-1.

"It felt really good," said Taylor, who was 6-for-10 from 3-point range. "Sometimes my shot doesn't feel good, but that time it did feel good. I was wide open again and I shot it again and it felt good again, so I just kept shooting it."

Taylor's timely baskets and Iowa State's hustling zone defense decided a game that matched the two highest scoring and two best shooting teams in the league.

Oklahoma shot only 31 percent and the 56 points were a season low for the Sooners, who had been averaging 80.3 and had not scored fewer than 76 in a Big 12 game.

They had not lost since losing to No. 1 Connecticut on Dec. 29.

"We just wanted to make them hit tough, tough shots," Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. "Don't put them on the free throw line. Don't turn the ball over and give them a fast break point.

"I thought our defense was really, really good the entire time. To hold somebody that good to 56, you're doing something right."

Desiree Francis added 15 points for Iowa State, while Angie Welle had 12 and Tracy Gahan 11. Stacey Dales led Oklahoma with 18 points and Phylesha Whaley had 16.

"We had a hard time scoring everywhere - blocks, free throw shooting, 3-point line," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said.

"Look at our percentages. It's a season low in almost every category. We just had a hard time getting the ball to go in the basket. And if you play a team that runs a zone, you better be able to shoot the ball."

Trailing by 19 points, Oklahoma went on a 16-3 run that included four points each from Dales and Whaley to cut the lead to 47-41 with 11:57 left. Iowa State was missing shots and turning the ball over and the crowd of 10,999 was getting restless.

Then Taylor caught fire. She swished two 3-pointers from the left corner and one from the top of the key, all in a span of 1:16. Francis followed with a 3 from the top of the key and suddenly, Iowa State was up 59-43 with 8:35 to play.

"Megan Taylor just went nuts there for a while," Fennelly said. "And Megan is a scorer. Megan's going to keep shooting. That's what we want her to do. She hit some big shots when we were really on the ropes."

Oklahoma drew to 61-50 on Whaley's 3-pointer with 5:44 left but got no closer. An 8-2 run stretched the lead to 17 and the Cyclones were home free.

"You fight that hard to cut it and then in less than a minute, it's back to 12," Coale said. "It's hard to overcome. It takes the wind out of your sails."

Oklahoma grabbed 19 offensive rebounds but converted them into only nine second-chance points. The Sooners had trouble scoring inside - Welle blocked a career-high five shots - and they failed from the perimeter, making only 6-of-28 3-point shots.