Tahlequah Daily Press

March 8, 2014

OSU women open Big 12 tournament play against Iowa State


— From this point on anything is possible. Jim Littell and the Oklahoma State Cowgirls know that.

No. 18 OSU will enter the Big 12 tournament as the No. 4 seed. The Cowgirls will play Iowa State at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Cowgirls (22-7) and the Cyclones (20-9) split this year as each team fell at home and won on the road. The game will be televised by FSN.

“We have to do something offensively to take them out of their comfort zone,” Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said.

The last meeting between OSU and Iowa State, the Cyclones drained 15 3-point shots on 36 attempts in Stillwater on Feb. 26, during ISU’s 86-69 victory. The first meeting was quite a different story. On Jan. 11 the Cowgirls went to Ames, Iowa, and held the Cyclones to 3 of 17.“I hope our kids are looking to redeem themselves and looking to play much better than they did against Iowa State last time,” Littell said. “They did a nice job of putting us in difficult situations so we’re going to have to make some adjustments from the last time we played them.”

The Cowgirls have not won back-to-back games since winning at Kansas on Jan. 22. Oklahoma State is 6-6 in its previous 12 games, alternating win-loss six times. The Cowgirls are coming off of a 65-58 loss at Texas.

“It’s to the point now that it’s one and done time. It’s time that you have to give your best effort every time out and you have to make some shots as well,” Littell said.

Oklahoma State has gone about the season as if each game is a playoff game. The experience gained by acting as though each game is crucial should help the Cowgirls now that each game from here on out is an elimination game.

“We’ve tried to sell to our team that the Big 12 is 18 individual battles and you have to be ready to play each night out,” Littell said.

Iowa State sports a smaller squad. To combat this Oklahoma State will run a smaller lineup.

“We’re essentially playing five guards,” Littell said. “It’s a little tough for us because some of our big kids have to come out on the floor and guard the three now. We have to get a little bit out of comfort zone.”