STILLWATER, Okla. - Playing just its second home game since Nov. 15, Oklahoma State's women's basketball team picked up a 69-46 win over UC Riverside in front of 2,299 fans inside Gallagher-Iba Arena on Thursday night.
The Cowgirls (7-2) struggled to get going offensively in the first half, standing at 14 points with less than eight minutes remaining. However, the OSU defense was able to hold the Highlanders (2-6) in check. UC Riverside did not reach double figures until scoring a basket at the 5:27 mark and hit just six of its 29 shots in the half.
"We continue to play better on the road than we do at home. It's something that we've got to fix," Budke said. "It's something that we've got five games left before Big 12 starts and we've got to figure out a way to change our energy level at home because we, bottom line, have just played much better on the road. We fought through it tonight. Riverside's a good team and well coached."
OSU picked up the pace over the final seven minutes and extended its lead to 32-18 at the break.
The Highlanders stayed with striking distance and trailed 46-35 with 11:25 left before the Cowgirls went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes to create some separation.
Senior Tegan Cunningham, who had a career night, hit a layup at the six-minute mark to push the advantage to 20 at 62-42. The Melbourne, Australia native led all scorers and set a new career high with 26 points.
Fellow senior Andrea Riley flirted with the first-ever triple-double in program history and was the only other player to score in double figures. The Dallas, Texas native finished with 16 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
Freshman Toni Young came off the bench and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and blocked three shots in 18 minutes of action.
"This is one of those nights that you don't really want to look at the scoreboard; I just know how my team played. I'm glad we won by 23, but I just know that we're better than what we showed tonight," Budke said.