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Sitting or stomach pain: Asberry makes the choice easy

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Noah Southard - DC7AD3C9-E77D-40B4-AF6E-C28AFF5BA675.jpeg

With 17 seconds left in the game, Ja’Mee Asberry walked wearily to the bench, chased from the floor by cheers and applause. Until that point in the game, she had not rested.

The OSU junior point guard played all 40 minutes in the 69-50 rematch win over TCU, only subbing out as the final seconds bled away. It was the second Cowgirl win over the Horned Frogs in three days.

“I was more tired today than I was the first game,” Asberry said. “TCU came out and played hard. They were mad at us. We had to go up to their speed and we had to play at their level.”

With COVID protocols limiting the Cowgirls to just eight available players, it was all hands on deck. While coach Jim Littell needed a strong performance from everyone, he demanded the most from Asberry — his veteran guard and season-long starter.

“When you’ve got eight players, your best players aren’t going to get much time off,” coach Jim Littell said. “Somebody has got to remain in the game and play some major minutes when you’re down to eight players.”

Despite her workload, which could not have been any higher, Asberry played well. She scored 16 points on 7-for-17 shooting and had seven assists.

“She played well,” Littell said. “Ja’Mee has been doing a good job of getting us off to a good start…you look at her numbers — 16 and 7 — that’s a very good night.”

With the game’s outcome decided with a couple of minutes left, Asberry wishes she would have been subbed out earlier. Not for exhaustion, though, but for the good of others.

“It’s always nice to give other people a chance,” Asberry said. “I’m not selfish. I wish they would have came and got me out earlier so that our freshmen can get in the flow of playing.”

Asberry said her first symptom of exhaustion on the court was a burning in her stomach. Then the pain goes to her legs. Her on-court demeanor today, however, was cool and collected all game despite the intense workload.

“I always expect Ja’Mee to play big minutes,” freshman forward Taylen Collins said. “I don’t know how she does, it but I just feel like she handles herself so well not coming out like she does. It’s very impressive. She does not ever look tired. When I look at her she is always ready to go and ready to do whatever.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com