CNHI News Services
Last season, Liz Donohoe was ahead of the learning curve in her freshman year on the Oklahoma State University basketball team. She started all 34 games and was honored as Big 12 Freshman of the Year. This season, Donohoe hopes to continue making strides in her sophomore season.
“I want to stay consistent and be better than last year,” Donohoe said. “I want to avoid the sophomore slump because it happens a lot. I think as a team we have goals we want to accomplish and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Donohoe, a graduate of Edmond North High School led all Big 12 freshman with 13.1 points per game and in rebounds with 7.8. During five weeks of the season, Donohoe was named Big 12 Freshman of the Week. Other honors included: second-team Freshman All-American by Full Court, One of five candidates for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s National Freshman of the Year award. Donohoe said she looked up to her older teammates.
“All of them brought something to the table,” Donohoe said. “We all have different personalities on and off the court and are pretty good friends. Tiffany (Bias) is a great leader. Toni (Young) and Kendra (Suttles), they are all great and I look up to them.”
Cowgirl coach Jim Littell said he talked with Donohoe about building on her freshman year and avoiding a “sophomore slump.”
“Liz is a very coachable young lady,” Littell said. “I believe she’s worked harder than she’s ever worked. She’s a young lady that spends a lot of time in the gym. She’s the first one in and the last one to leave the gym. I believe she has strengthened her body. Toned down a little bit and become a little bit quicker. We are excited about her sophomore year.”
Donohoe played a key role during the Cowgirls run to the WNIT championship last March as she had a double-double every game. The then-freshman forward’s strong play earned her a selection on the WNIT All-Tournament Team. Donohoe said the championship run improved team chemistry.
“The WNIT was a blast,” Donohoe said. “It was a lot of fun and we came together to get that championship. That momentum coming into now is we know what we can play like. We know what we are capable of and we have to show that to everyone else.”
The Cowgirls went through their first offseason under Littell, who took over after the tragic death of Kurt Budke last November. Donohoe said it went well.
“We’ve been going really good, even in the summer with our conditioning,” Donohoe said. “We are practicing now, it’s going great. We got a great coach. They’re all great, we got a great staff.”
Despite OSU’s success in the WNIT, it was picked to finish seventh in the 10 team Big 12.
“It’s motivation,” Donohoe said. “We got picked seventh in our conference and I think we should be way higher than that. We aren’t going to surprise anybody but we got to show that we are that team that won the WNIT.”
Littell said the Cowgirls look to be more up-tempo offensively adding Donohoe could have a key role.
“I think it will help us a lot to find shots for Jordan Schultz and Liz Donohoe in transition,” Littell said. “I think a lot of people are going to scheme to stop Liz Donohoe this year. I’ve always felt the best way to score is to get a bucket before the defense sets up.”