Stillwater News Press

January 22, 2014

Cowgirls keeping attention on upset-minded Kansas

By Derek Brown
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Things got a lot more interesting for Oklahoma State when Kansas beat No. 7-ranked Baylor 76-60 Sunday.

Kansas improved to just 9-9, 2-4 in Big 12 play, but could be riding high following a 16-point victory over a top 10 team. Kansas also snapped Baylor’s 53-game conference winning streak.

“KU is very talented, they’re very long and they’re very athletic. They’re playing very hard right now and they believe in what they’re doing. That’s evident by getting a 16-point win over the seventh ranked team in the country,” Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said.

The Cowgirls will travel to Kansas with a 7 p.m. tip Wednesday. ESPN3 will carry the game.

Eighth-ranked OSU heads into the game with a 16-1 record and 5-1 in conference play. The one-loss start through 17 games ties the 2007-2008 team for best start in school history. The Cowgirls will be looking for their first five-game winning streak against Big 12 competition since 1997-1998.

Kansas having knocked off Baylor proves that the Big 12 conference is atop the nation.

“There is not a lower division. There’s teams that can win on any given night,” Littell said. “It says it’s the No. 1 RPI (Rating Percentage Index) league in the country for a reason. The teams that were 1-4, 2-3, 2-4 are winning games. That just tells you that there’s so much parity and so much strength within the league that you can’t overlook anybody.”

Baylor leads the Big 12 in scoring offense averaging 90.1 points a game. Kansas held Baylor to just 60 points on Sunday. The Cowgirls know this and will have to be focussed and ready to play.

“We’ve been telling our players from September on, what this league is about. We’ve given them instances in the past where teams were highly ranked and another one comes in and beats them because you’re not ready to play. It should open our players’ eyes but it’s nothing that they haven’t heard for two months,” Littell said.

Kansas’ Chelsea Gardner is fifth in the Big 12 in scoring with 16.3 points a game. Gardner is third in field-goal percentage shooting .608. CeCe Harper is fifth in the Big 12 with 5.2 assists a game and fourth in steals per game with 2.

Tiffany Bias needs three assists to hit the 700 mark. Bias is also five points away from 1,400 points in her career. The senior point guard is 10 assists short of matching Andrea Riley for first place in Oklahoma State history.

The Cowgirls and Kansas have a seasoned past. Kansas has a 31-27 edge over OSU but the Cowgirls have won three in a row against KU and is on a four-game streak inside of Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas is 8-3 at home this season.

“It’s one of the most tradition rich venues in the country. Their women don’t draw quite as much as their men do but it’s still a neat environment to play in,” Littell said. “It’s kind of the birth-place of where basketball is at so there’s a lot of history to that place.”