Things didn't go the way Oklahoma State fans hoped for as the Cowgirls took an early exit from the Big 12 Tournament thanks to a loss to the Oklahoma Sooners, 61-43.
In the first half, despite the Sooners slim lead, OSU kept the game close by forcing a few turnovers, however a poor shooting first quarter kept the Sooners in the lead going into halftime, 25-22. After halftime, it didn't get any easier as the Sooners made a high percentage of their three-pointers, enabling them to keep the game away from the Cowgirls. Also, none of the Cowgirls shots were going in, causing frustrations and forcing OSU into turning over the ball 27 times.
Before the game, All-American Brittney Martin was recognized as Big 12 Player of The Year and received a standing ovation from the fans in orange and even some in crimson and cream. Martin finished the game with 17 points and six rebounds, but she wasn't impressed with that, stating that it wasn't near enough. The Cowgirls finish the season 21-9 overall,11-7 in Big 12 and will wait to hear there postseason destination on Selection Monday.
In the beginning, there was no expectations for this team after losing some players, including a starter, some coaching staff changes and more as they were predicted to finish eighth in the Big 12 with no postseason play. When I first found out about the prediction, my first thought was there was no way they can finish that way because of the talent they have and the new players that will step up. Despite the rough ending, the Cowgirls have nothing to hang their heads over as they sped past expectations, swept Oklahoma in the regular season, Big 12 Player of the Year accomplishment for Brittney Martin, Big 12 Coach of The Year for head coach Jim Littell, beat four top 25 opponents for the first time since 2009 and possibly earn another trip to the NCAA. There's the accomplishments, but what needs to improve before the NCAA Tournament starts?
- Improve the shooting performance: OSU has been struggling shooting the ball lately and especially behind the 3-point line.
- Find ways to strengthen the defense again. Throughout the season, the Cowgirls have kept about 70 percent of their opponents under 50ish points and forced turnovers. However, the defense is starting to slack a little bit as they let opponents such as West Virginia and Oklahoma score more than 60 points. They need to find ways to stop the three-point shooting.
- Find players to step up again. Brittney Martin and Kaylee Jensen are the two main players when it comes to scoring. Roddricka Patton steps up in defense steals and assists, but when they are in trouble someone needs to step up. Freshman Karli Wheeler has contributed to the 3-point shooting during throughout season, but they are going to need some help.
Up Next: NCAA Tournament Selection Monday
Since the Cowgirls will be the only team to have a selection day, it will be on Monday March 14 starting at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN. As for seeding, it will most likely be a seven seed and I don't think they would get any worse than that due to their RPI and win qualities. In ESPN's Charlie Creme's bracketology, the prediction will change a lot due to other conference tournaments going on and there has been upsets this past week that changed a lot. However, as of now the Cowgirls are predicted to be a seven-seed in the Bridgeport region and would play potential ten-seed Georgia in Los Angeles.
Spring break playing basketball at Los Angeles? There is nothing wrong with that.