By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Oklahoma State sophomore Liz Donohoe is a woman of few words when it comes to speaking to the media. But Donohoe doesn’t need many words to describe what she will be feeling Sunday — just two.
“It’s Bedlam,” Donohoe said. “It’s the game you look forward to all year. We’re all really excited and it’s always fun to go down to Norman and play that rivalry team.”
Donohoe is entering her second year in the rivalry — a rivalry that has captivated her since she was a little girl. But while Donohoe hopes last year’s experiences pay off, players like Brittney Martin are about to get their first taste of just what exactly Bedlam means as the Cowgirls (16-5, 5-5 in Big 12) travel to Norman Sunday.
“I think you have to experience it before you really understand what it’s all about,” Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said. “We talk more about just preparing and being ready for the things they’re going to do than the Bedlam part. But it is a special game.
“It’s for in-state bragging rights. It’s our arch rival. There’s no one that either team would rather beat. You see it in every sport, from football to men’s basketball to women’s basketball. It’s your rivalry game and it should mean the most to you.”
This year’s edition of Bedlam might have a little more meaning than in years past. Both teams are jockeying for position in the Big 12 and in the NCAA tournament.
“It’s Bedlam but every game is important,” Donohoe said. “We go into this game like any other game, but again it is Bedlam and it’s exciting and we want to come out with a win.”
Getting a win in Norman is a little easier said than done. Led by Morgan Hook, the Sooners (17-5, 7-3 in Big 12) are the top 3-point shooting team in the conference — firing at a 39.2 percent clip.
The Cowgirls struggled to guard the arc earlier in the week against TCU and Littell said that’s been a point of emphasis this week in practice
“It isn’t a case where you lock in on one or two players, you have to guard all five,” Littell said. “In my opinion, I think it’s the best 3-point shooting team in the conference. There’s no question we have to step out and guard more. They throw four people on the perimeter that are exceptional 3-point shooters. ... They go out and recruit and play shooters. You have to guard them continuously on the perimeter.”
The Bedlam rivalry has had its fair share of history but Donohoe said the key is to not let it get the best of them and just take it like any other Big 12 game.
“They’re just like anybody else,” Donohoe said. “(Hook) and all them are great shooters, great players and she’s a smart point guard. It will just be another challenge for us.”
After starting the second half of the conference season with a win over TCU, a win over Oklahoma in Norman would bolster a somewhat shaky conference resume, which includes losses to Texas Tech at home and Kansas State on the road.
“We said that last game (against TCU) was the beginning of a new season,” Donohoe said. “To come out with a win at OU against OU would be great. It’s very important to go in and get a win. When you don’t get a win, like at K-State, it’s very important to go out and get another one somewhere down the road.”