By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
It’s been said that the best offense is a good defense and make no mistake, Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach Jim Littell is a firm believer in that theory.
But when a team is having the kind of success the Cowgirls are having, it’s hard to ignore some of those big offensive numbers.
The Cowgirls lead the nation in scoring with 88.9 points per game after breaking the 90-point plateau for the sixth time against Texas Arlington on Saturday — a feat they accomplished six times in the last two years.
“We have played extremely well offensively,” Littell said. “We weren’t as good as we needed to be defensively. We haven’t been guarding the way we need to guard to be successful in the Big 12. Offensively, we continue to be pretty good. We’re shot the ball well (against Texas Arlington). We shot 53 percent and had 22 rebounds and only had 9 turnovers. If you can do that, you’re going to be able to put some points up.”
It isn’t just one player that’s been leading the way for Oklahoma State’s high-powered offense. Each time the Cowgirls take the court it seems like a different player steps into that starring role.
Saturday, it was Brittney Martin. The freshman recorded Oklahoma State’s first triple-double in school history with 10 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.
“Brittney Martin played really well,” Littell said. “She had an exceptional night. She showed her ability and versatility and impacted the game in a lot of different ways. I think she’s a talent and she gets more comfortable every day. When she gets more comfortable and some confidence in her game, she’s going to be a very good player for several years to come here.”
Martin may have had the hot hand, but it’s been an embarrassment of riches when it comes to points. The biggest challenge for Littell is making sure everybody get the opportunity to shoot.
“The way we’re shooting we may have to throw another ball out there,” Littell said. “It’s great that we’re getting so much production from so many people, but what I’ve been real impressed with his how well we’ve shared the ball. Tiffany Bias had 14 points and 9 assists and I think as a team we had 27 total assists. That means that we’re moving the ball and everybody is getting a chance to shoot, which is a good thing.”
It also doesn’t hurt that Oklahoma State is only turning the ball over 14.8 times per game either.
“We set a goal to have 10 or fewer turnovers each game,” Littell said. “To do that, we just have to focus and work on our shot selection. Those are the things that lead to the easy baskets.”
Whether or not Oklahoma State can continue to shoot around 50 percent from the field the rest of the way remains to be seen. But a couple of tough games in the Surf N’ Slam Classic in San Diego will tell Littell just how dangerous his offense is and whether or not it can withstand whatever defensive woes that might come the Cowgirls’ way.
“I told the girls that the easy part is over now,” Littell said. “For the next 20-plus games, we’re not going to be able to relax defensively. We’re not going to have a bunch of easy shots. We have to execute our game plan and we have to work on things in practice. Just because we’re shooting well now doesn’t mean that we’re still going to be shooting well when teams like Baylor and everybody comes to town. We have to execute.”