Littell wants offensive improvement against Lamar

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Vivian Gray dribbles down the court during the Cowgirls v. Emporia State women's basketball game, at Gallagher-Iba Arena, on October 27, 2019. 

Jim Littell, coach of the Oklahoma State women's basketball team, wants improvement from his team on offense. 

The Cowgirls pulled out a victory against Idaho in their season opener on Tuesday, but it didn’t come easily.

The Cowgirls won 62-47 against an underrated Vandals team that finished with a 22-12 record last season.

OSU shot 30.4 percent from the field and 15.2 percent from beyond the arc, but Littell was most concerned about the 3-point shooting.

“I just didn’t think we shot the ball with confidence,” Littell said. “And when you shoot the ball you got to have the idea that it’s going in every time. I felt like a few of our players were very apprehensive when they shot the ball. It’s about shooting the ball in rhythm and having some confidence in what you’re doing and wanting to take the shot.”

OSU forward Vivian Gray had a rough game as she went 3-for-15 from the floor. Littell said he’s confident that Gray will bounce back.

“I’m not worried about Vivian Gray,” Littell said. “She’s a good player. She didn’t make some shots. Vivian Gray is not a worry for me at all.”

Despite the offensive struggles, OSU limited the Vandals to only 47 points on 27.3 percent shooting.

OSU’s defense was disruptive on Tuesday. Littell said the Cowgirls had 37 deflections against the Vandals.

Deflections are a statistic that people don’t always measure, but it speaks volumes about a team’s defensive intensity. OSU’s high deflection mark was a testament to how well it played defensively.

Littell said he loved the defensive effort, and he was also happy the turnovers stayed relatively low.

The Cowgirls had 25 turnovers in their exhibition game against Emporia State, but only seven against Idaho. Littell said that was one of the bright spots for the Cowgirls.

OSU’s disappointing offensive output had a lot to do with its perimeter shooting. Littell said he hopes his players can fill that hole.

“We had some players that were not guarded and they got to accept the challenge of when somebody doesn’t guard me I got to step up and be held accountable and make shots,” Litell said.

OSU can go into its next game against Lamar with one thing hanging over its head: defense. But Littell said the Cowgirls need to shoot better going forward.

The Lady Cardinals present another strong test for the Cowgirls, but Littell is only worried about his own team, not the opponents they play.

“We’re going to go into this game under the approach that it’s more about us and taking care of the business that we need to care of,” Littell said. 

sports.ed@ocolly.com