Woodward, Okla. —
By Nick Snow
CNHI News Service
STILLWATER — The Oklahoma State women’s basketball team hasn’t exactly had a lot of challenges through the first two months of the season, but all that’s about to change.
As the rest of Oklahoma thaws out from the recent dip in temperatures and the Christmas Day blizzard, the Cowgirls (9-0) will be feeling the heat when they tip off the Surf N’ Slam Classic against Harvard (7-3) at 9 p.m. Friday in San Diego.
“We’re going to play two good teams out there,” Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said. “The last I looked, Harvard had an RPI ranking of about 85. If we’re fortunate enough to beat Harvard, we’ll probably get San Diego State and in the latest RPI rankings they were 14th. They’ve played a lot of good teams and they’re very talented and very athletic.”
There may be warm beaches and plenty of sunshine, but don’t expect the Cowgirls to use this trip as a vacation from the daily grind of the season. This is strictly a business trip and the goal is to come home with Oklahoma State’s first regular season tournament trophy since winning the University of New Mexico Thanksgiving Classic in 2010.
“I’ve taken some teams to San Diego and the temperature is usually 75 degrees year-round,” Littell said. “It will be nice to get some warm weather out there and allow the team to do some things. We’ll make a nice trip of it, but when it comes time to take care of business and play basketball I’m sure the kids will be ready.”
Ready or not, Littell knows just how important this tournament is to his team. With the Big 12 Conference schedule starting Wednesday against Texas Tech, Littell hopes this tournament will give the Cowgirls a boost they need going into conference play.
“We told our players that there’s not another easy game on our schedule for the next 20-plus games,” Littell said. “We have two tough opponents in San Diego and then in conference play everybody’s good. That’s why it’s the No. 1 RPI conference in the country. I think our players are really excited to start playing some quality competition.”
It isn’t just building up for the conference season that’s on Littell’s mind. Last season, the Cowgirls lost to Long Island in the championship of the Peppermill Holiday Classic in Reno, Nev. — a loss that may have kept Oklahoma State out of the NCAA Tournament.
Littell is hoping a couple of wins in San Diego not only bolster’s the strength of schedule, but also provides some experience in case the Cowgirls have to travel for the postseason.
“Any time you can go on the road, it takes a special effort to be successful on the road,” Littell said. “Whether it’s at an opposing team’s venue or a neutral site, when you go into those type of places that kind of experience isn’t going to do anything but help you. It will prepare us for conference play and going on the road in conference play.”
But perhaps the biggest factor in whether or not Oklahoma State is able to have success in San Diego relies on whether or not the Cowgirls can get healthy. Nagging injuries and the flu have ran rampant in the locker room over the last few weeks, but the team appears to be getting healthier with each passing day.
“I don’t know if we are getting healthier, but having two days off for Christmas shouldn’t hurt us at all,” Littell said. “The girls had a little free time and it allowed them to get some rest. As you know, nothing helps heal injuries like Mom’s cooking. They’ve had a few days to get healed up and recover from some illness and it should do us a lot of good.”
Nick Snow is a sports reporter for The Stillwater NewsPress.
Woodward, Okla. —
By Nick Snow
Football playoffs rescheduled
Due to the approaching winter storm expected to affect most of the state, football championship and semifinal games have been rescheduled.
Boomers, Alva set to clash in season opener
A pair of veteran boys teams are set to tip off the basketball season tonight at Boomer Fieldhouse.
Trojans lose in double overtime
Sharon-Mutual's bid for a spot in the Class C state championship game ccomes up short.
Wagoner edges Boomers 28-21 in state quarterfinals
WAGONER- in a back and forth game, unbeaten Wagoner edged the Woodward Boomers 28-21 at Odom Field Friday in the Class 4A football quarterfinals.
No. 12 Oklahoma State clobbers No. 23 Texas 38-13
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Big 12 championship is still solidly in reach for No. 12 Oklahoma State, which showed Saturday just what No. 4 Baylor will be up against next week.
Big second half carries Sooners
Oklahoma’s up-and-down season was at rock bottom with a little over a minute left in the first half. It was trailing Iowa State — the same team that hadn’t won a game since late September — by a touchdown at Owen Field.
Area teams advance in playoffs
Round one of the football playoffs went about as expected for area teams.
Laverne advanced in Class B as did Shattuck, Sharon-Mutual and Balko in Class C and Okeene in Class A.
Boomers crush Ada 49-7
Woodward moves into the Class 4A quarterfinals next week at Wagoner.
Boomers set to face Cougars
Woodward goes on the road tonight for first round playoff action while several area teams begin the post-season at home.
Gilbert, OSU offense powers Pokes to blowout win
With Barry Sanders in attendance, the 15th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys kicked off Saturday’s blowout in the most fitting of ways — a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Justin Gilbert on the opening kick.
It was a nice nod to the Heisman Trophy winner, who returned the season opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in 1988. For Gilbert it was his sixth career kickoff-return for a touchdown — which leads all active FBS players and is one shy of the FBS career record.
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