By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
It took 14 seconds for Oklahoma State freshman Brittney Martin to score her first basket in a Cowgirl uniform.
But while most people came to Gallagher-Iba Arena to get their first look at the phenom from Syracuse, Utah, it was a familiar face that led the Cowgirls basketball team to a 118-43 exhibition win over Central Oklahoma Wednesday.
Senior Toni Young scored 26 points and pulled down 11 rebounds — one point and one rebound shy of her season-highs from last season.
“This year I can’t hold back,” Young said. “It’s my senior year so I’m going to play every minute that I can the best I can. I don’t want to take a step back. I don’t want to go back to the beginning of my junior year, so I’m picking up where I left off last year and I’ll keep pushing forward from there.”
Martin did finish with 16 points and three rebounds in her debut, part of seven Cowgirls who reached double digits as Oklahoma State reached the century mark for the first time since the 2010 season.
“She had a sweet move on the baseline where she spun out and was behind the backboard and made that shot,” OSU coach Jim Littell said. “She’s a talent. She’s someone that can create her own shot and that’s a big plus for us this year. We’ve kind of lacked that in the past. She’s got a lot of savvy to her game and understands how to play and get open. I think she’s going to do nothing but get better as we go along.”
The Cowgirls began the game with a 12-0 run and never looked back. Armed with a new offensive scheme, Oklahoma State used Wednesday’s exhibition as a chance to tune up its fast-paced, high-octane offense en route to a 54-22 halftime lead.
“We really try to work on that transition,” Oklahoma State senior forward Lindsey Keller said. “We try to use our defense as an offense and get a fast break, even just taking the ball out and hustling down. It is a part of our overall plan in our offense.”
There even seemed to be a seamless transition when newcomers like Martin or junior college transfer Kamri Anderson ran the offense.
“I think for this team to be so fresh and new, our new girls came in and we all played together really well,” Young said. “I don’t think that you could tell that we are just getting newcomers in. They seem like they’ve been playing with us for a long time.”
Oklahoma State expanded the 32-point halftime lead to 76 with 2:14 left in the game, as the Cowgirls shot 67.5 percent from the field in the second half.
But as Oklahoma State prepares for its regular season opener against Cal Poly at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Gallagher-Iba Arena, Littell says there’s still some things, the Cowgirls will need to work on before taking on the Mustangs.
“I was very pleased that we shared the basketball the way we did,” Littell said. “We had seven people in double figures and another one with eight. When you have that type of balance it’s going to give you success down the road. ... But we’ve got to get better defensively. We spent a lot of time putting in our new offense and initiating some new things, but we haven’t worked on the defensive end quite like we needed to.”