Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

February 17, 2013

Cowgirls dominate up front, blow out K-State

STILLWATER — All week in practice, Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach Jim Littell preached to his team about finishing — finishing games, finishing the conference season and finishing in the paint.

The Cowgirls had no problem with the latter as the size and athleticism of Toni Young and Kendra Suttles helped Oklahoma State avenge an earlier loss this season to Kansas State with a 80-45 win over the Wildcats.

“Over the few days we had to prepare for them, (Littell) made sure we battled every day in practice,” said Young, who matched a season-high with 24 points and 18 rebounds. “He just told us we were going to throw it in side and that we needed to make sure we finished over their 5-10 guards.”

Suttles scored 19 points and 10 rebounds — surpassing her own season-high of 14 points, which came against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan.

Oklahoma State (18-6, 7-6 in Big 12) survived a barrage of 3-pointers early as Kansas State knocked down five shots from beyond the arch in the first 7 minutes.

“We had to change as coaches,” Littell said. “They shot us out of the zone and we kind of tried to figure out what we did last time. They scored 43 in the first half on us in Manhattan when we played man and we held them to 28 or 29 in the second half. It just flipped this game. It’s just adjustments you have to make during the course of the game and our players made a nice adjustment.”

“Our early success from 3 lulled us into a false sense of comfort,” Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said. “I thought we stopped playing hard after that point and sometimes it can be an illusion to just stand there and feel like the game is going to be easy.”

That’s about the time Young and Suttles took over as the Cowgirls went on a 19-2 run to turn what was a 17-11 deficit into a 30-19 lead.

“We never really established that we were going to be aggressive on the defensive boards or the offensive boards,” Patterson said. “We were very passive there. Giving them an extra opportunity on any given possession really started to deflate us. ... We were ineffective relative to their defense, we were ineffective relative to their rebounding and we were ineffective defending. It was a combination of things.”

After taking a 35-24 lead into halftime, the Cowgirls came out obviously looking to attack the post as Young scored three straight baskets over a two-minute span to spark Oklahoma State in the second half.

“(Young) scored the first four baskets of the game and then started getting shoved a little bit further away from the basket,” Littell said. “She was settling for 15- and 18-foot turnaround jump shots and we wanted her to establish lower. I was really proud of what she did in the second half of getting deeper inside, catching the ball, being more of a presence on the backside and that resulted in a very good second half for her.”

Young’s ability to get positioning in the post helped Oklahoma State shoot 62.1 percent from the field in the second half and 54.1 percent overall.

But it wasn’t just the offense that helped light up the scoreboard.

The Cowgirls put the clamps on Kansas State’s normally solid 3-point attack, holding the Wildcats to 9 of 34 (26.5 percent) from beyond the arc and keeping Kansas State scoreless for the final 9 minutes of the second half.

“We just mainly ran them off on 3s,” Oklahoma State junior Tiffany Bias said. “We switch almost everything. We knew that they’re a great shooting team. I think we executed well and made them put the ball on the floor more and put them in more of an attack mode.”

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