The Oklahoma State women’s basketball team (12-7 overall, 3-4 Big 12) lost in heartbreaking fashion against Texas. Here’s how they graded out.
Scoring/Shot selection: B
The question: how was Texas (13-6 overall, 5-2 Big 12) going to handle Vivian Gray with Natasha Mack and Kassidy De Lapp out? The answer: the Longhorns had their game plan — they would throw three, four bodies at whichever Cowgirl got in the paint and force OSU to score from outside. Even with that intense defense, OSU remained relentless in its pursuit of good shots. The Cowgirls did the best they could against Texas’ sound game plan. They finished with a solid 44.1% shooting on their field goals, but only 4-for-16 on 3-pointers.
Passing/Ball security: B
Only one word can be used: infuriating. Texas didn’t apply full-court press or pressure ball handlers like crazy, but the Cowgirls still had 22 turnovers. And frankly, it falls on themselves. One of OSU’s biggest strengths this season has been taking care of the ball — but not this time. The Cowgirls had a ton of “bad” turnovers: simple passes that slipped off hands and went out of bounds or lazy passes that were intercepted and taken to the house for an easy basket. Those sorts of turnovers killed the Cowgirls, which ultimately resulted in a loss. That being said, OSU had its moments — it made some savvy passes to open playmakers. But overall, it was a mixed bag.
The Cowgirls had some rebounding woes to begin conference play, but with De Lapp and Mack out, there was even more concern. Luckily for OSU fans, Abbie Winchester and Bigue Sarr have picked up the slack. The frontcourt duo combined for 19 of the Cowgirls’ 38 rebounds. But it wasn’t just easy rebounds — they boxed out well, jumped on the floor for loose balls, crashed the glass hard, they grabbed rebounds that shouldn’t have been theirs. OSU was slightly outrebounded by a 40-38 margin, but they did a great job considering the injuries.
“The best defense is a good offense.” Well, that certainly held true today. The Cowgirls played tremendous defense, but the 22 turnovers placed a damper on the whole thing. The Longhorns got 14 of their 61 points on the fastbreak. In the halfcourt and/or when the defense was set, OSU locked down on defense — it brought the weakside help and doubled opportunistically. All things considered, the Cowgirls limited Texas to 33.3% on its field goals and forced 16 turnovers.
It was an emotional loss. The Cowgirls led for a majority of the game before Texas took over late. And in the end, they didn’t lose because of Mack and De Lapp’s absences — it was the fourth-quarter mistakes. Even with Texas altering its game plan to hone in on Gray, the Cowgirls did a remarkable job working around that and finding ways to score. But despite how hard they defended, how well they rebounded, it came down to late game errors.