Three things to watch for: OSU vs. West Virginia

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OSU forward Vivian Gray shoots a contested jump shot during the Oklahoma State vs. TCU women's basketball game on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.

The Oklahoma State women’s basketball team (12-10 overall, 3-7 Big 12) hopes to turn it around and pick up a win against a West Virginia team that’s coming off a loss to Oklahoma. Here’s what you should watch for.

The rebounding battle

The Cowgirls have been outrebounded in every conference game this season — but the numbers are a little deceiving. OSU struggled to rebound to begin the calendar year, but it has improved immensely since then. Even with Natasha Mack, Kassidy De Lapp and others missing time, the Cowgirls continued to box out and crash the glass. Last time these two teams played, the Mountaineers (14-6, 4-5) outrebounded the Cowgirls by only a 34-33 margin. With Mack back in play, OSU will look to win the rebounding battle.

 

A low-scoring affair

Last time out OSU pulled out a 57-55 victory against the Mountaineers. It should be more of the same as these two defensive orientated teams are set to go up against each other. OSU and WVU rank as two of the top three defenses in the Big 12 by points allowed. The Mountaineers’ 2-3 zone should cause problems for the Cowgirls as OSU’s turnover forcing defense does the same on the other side. Now with Mack back in the lineup, that’s another defensive stalwart in the game.

 

The Cowgirls’ passing

Even though Mack and De Lapp were both out against West Virginia in the last matchup, the Mountaineers didn’t really hone in on Gray. While WVU didn’t adjust their game plan for that, it did an excellent job doubling opportunistically on the low blocks to make it difficult to get easy shots. The Mountaineers played excellent defense, but OSU negated many of the double teams with timely, smart passes. The Cowgirls finished the game with 18 assists. They will look to execute at the same rate once again.

sports.ed@ocolly.com