Stillwater News Press

Sports

November 19, 2012

Cowgirls host Texas-Pan American after emotional weekend win

STILLWATER, Okla. — The 21st-ranked Oklahoma State women’s basketball team earned a blowout win Sunday in an emotional atmosphere — the one-year anniversary since the plane crash that killed coaches Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna.

The Cowgirls teed off on Weber State with a 101-49 victory in which many of OSU’s bench players got significant playing time with no Cowgirl playing more than 22 minutes. Four starters reached double-digit point totals — Toni Young (17), Liz Donohoe (13), Lindsey Keller (10) and Brittney Martin (10) — while bench player LaShawn Jones led the team with 18 points in 18 minutes of action.

Though OSU held the winless Weber State team to just 49 points, Cowgirl coach Jim Littell stressed defense is something his squad still needs to work on.

“I believe that we’ve got to get a lot better defensively. We’ve had a couple of very lopsided scores, but I see some things that we’re not doing in the right fashion that are going to help us be successful in January,” Littell said Monday.

“So we’ve worked real hard at trying to get better defensively. ... You’ll get away with some of that in the non-conference schedule, but you won’t get away with it in conference play. So we’ve really focused on trying to be more solid on the defensive end of the floor.”

Oklahoma State (3-0) will have its hands full with its next opponent, Texas-Pan American — which the Cowgirls will face at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Broncs (2-2) are coming off a 100-point outburst of their own and have averaged 78.7 points per game in their last three contests.

“They play Memphis dribble-drive offense and the hardest thing to try to guard in a game is when somebody just lowers their head and dribble-drives on you, so we’ve got the challenge of that,” Littell said. “We’ve got some (players) that aren’t real fleet of foot, so it will be a challenge for us to play good team defense, get in position to where we need to be and stop the drive. They’ll present some problems to people because they will put it on the floor.”

As for OSU’s offense, things have been clicking for the 21st-ranked team in the country. The Cowgirls are averaging 88.3 points per game through the first three games of the season with their lowest point total coming in the 74-71 win at Missouri State.

The Cowgirls have had a different leading scorer in each of its first three games and have five different players averaging more than 10 points per game — with Donohoe and Young leading the team with 17.7 and 16.7 points, respectively. OSU has won 14 consecutive games in which four players have scored in double figures, including all three wins this season.

“I’ve always preached balance,” Littell said. “... I think the balance and the ability to score at every position helps us. A few years back, if Toni had a bad game, we didn’t have a chance to win, or if Tiff was a little off, we’d struggle to win. And I think by building some balance it gives you some flexibility if somebody has a problem and doesn’t play as well as they are capable of, then you still have a chance to be successful.”

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