Three things to watch for: OSU Cowgirls vs. Kansas State Wildcats

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OSU forward Vivian Gray drives to the basket during the Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma women's basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.

The Oklahoma State women’s basketball team (10-5 overall, 1-2 Big 12) looks to bounce back against Kansas State (7-6, 1-1) after a loss at Baylor. Here’s what you should be on the watch for.

The Cowgirls’ resilience

OSU had one of the toughest nonconference schedules in the country with matchups against No. 5 Louisville, No. 6 Oregon and No. 12 Texas A&M, yet they still came out with a 9-3 record. But with a narrow loss to Oklahoma and a tough one with No. 2 Baylor, the Cowgirls will look to get back on track. They’ve been resilient all season long after losses, but this will be the game where the Cowgirls will put their resiliency on display. After shooting a season-low 25% from the field against Baylor, OSU will be looking to come out with some fire and grab a victory on the road against a conference foe.

The rebounding battle

The Cowgirls have been an excellent rebounding team this season with their size, anticipation and sheer effort. And rebounding has been a key factor in determining the victor this season. In wins, they’ve averaged 45.4 rebounds and in losses, that number fell to 33.8. The Wildcats average 43.8 rebounds this season, 14th best in the nation. Their elite rebounding prowess makes it that much more vital for OSU to grab boards - on offense and defense - for it to emerge victoriously.

Turnovers will be key

In the Cowgirls’ heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma, one positive emerged: the turnovers. Prior to that game, the Sooners had been turning the ball over at an extraordinary rate, and the Cowgirls exploited that by forcing 30 turnovers - an OSU season-high - in that matchup. OSU also stole the ball 19 times. 19. The Cowgirls’ pressure defense played a big role once again. And while the Jayhawks aren’t as careless with the ball, they still average 16.5 turnovers a game, which leaves the Cowgirls - who have one of the best turnover margins in the country - with a hefty advantage.

sports.ed@ocolly.com