At last, overtime is OBU's friend.
After suffering an 0-2 mark in its first two overtime games, the Lady Bison made up for it with an 87-86 double overtime victory over Southern Nazarene in the Sooner Athletic Conference semifinals.
Taujhnae Travis scored an conference season-high 38 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
"Tauj carried us for a while," McCullough said. "We didn't play a particularly good game."
The first half got off to a telling start with SNU hitting a three-pointer on its first possession. The Crimson Storm hit six of its first seven three-point attempts and built a 28-17 lead with 10:18 left in the first half.
OBU trailed by as many as 17 in the first half. By halftime, OBU trailed 44-31 with SNU hitting a piping hot 62 percent from three-point range.
OBU climbed to within 54-50 midway through the second half, then got an acrobatic layup by Travis, who followed that with back-to-back three-pointers to give OBU its first lead, 59-58 with 7:12 to play in the game.
Tejana Elmore answered with a put-back to put SNU ahead 60-59 and Mara Kee scored on transition for a 62-59 advantage with 5:47 to play. Ashley Jackson added a basket for a 64-59 SNU lead. Elmore got another basket at the 4:07 mark to get comfortable again at 66-59 and the 10-point bulge returned on a three-pointer by Rachel Balzer at the 3:35 mark of the game.
Ashley Gamble scored a three-pointer at the 3:24 mark to end the OBU scoring drought at just over 3:30.
Travis would score again to make it a 71-67 game and then got to the free throw line at the 1:10 mark for two points after Balzer missed a wide-open lay-up.
Travis went to the line again with 25.7 seconds left on the bonus and tied the game at 71-71.
SNU turned the ball over on the inbound, giving the Lady Bison an opportunity for a last shot, but Travis missed the shot. Elmore rebounded the shot but fell and .3 seconds was put on the clock. OBU couldn't get off another shot and the game went to overtime.
A Heather Graham scoop shot gave OBU a lead to start the overtime but Balzer hit a three to give the lead to SNU. Elmore got Betsy Simmons to foul out and hit two free throws for a 76-73 advantage.
Travis banked in a three-pointer at the 3:13 mark to tie the game again.
Travis got a steal and was fouled on SNU's next possession. She went to the line at the 2:28 mark and scored her 36th point for a 77-76 edge.
Kinzie Glover hit a three-pointer, but OBU's Jayme Glover answered with one of her own.
Elmore willed in a basket against a good defensive stance by Jessi Donnel and Lauran Hart went to the line for the bonus at the 1:19 mark, but missed the front end.
Graham got to the line with 53 seconds left to tie the game at 81-81.
Donnel stole an inbound under the SNU goal and OBU had the ball without a shot clock, but Travis missed a jumper in the lane and the game went to a second overtime.
"Jessi played great," said McCullough. "She was tremendous coming off the bench. She had great position on Elmore."
Elmore opened the scoring in the second overtime, but not until the 2:42 mark, scoring on one of two free throws.
Jennifer Jupin scored on an empty shot clock for an 83-82 lead, but Elmore answered with two free throws at the 1:14 mark for an 84-83 SNU advantage.
Travis scored on a lay-up with 48 seconds left for an 85-84 lead.
A shot clock violation gave OBU the ball with 17.6 seconds to play. Gamble was fouled on her broken nose and was assessed a technical foul for looking at Balzer, who fouled her.
Balzer hit both free throws to make it 86-85. Jennifer Jupin came in to shoot for Gamble and hit both throws for an 87-86 lead.
"Ashley thought that cost us and it didn't so we can move on," McCullough said.
Lana Keith missed two shots in the last SNU possession.
The win put OBU in the tournament title game for the first time since 1997. The Lady Bison play Oklahoma City in the finals at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday.