STILLWATER — All week in practice Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach Jim Littell preached to his team about finishing — finishing games, finishing the conference season and finishing in the paint.
The Cowgirls had no problem with the latter as the size and athleticism of Toni Young and Kendra Suttles helped Oklahoma State avenge an earlier loss this season to Kansas State with an 80-45 win over the Wildcats.
“Over the few days we had to prepare for them, (Littell) made sure we battled every day in practice,” said Young, who matched a season-high with 24 points and 18 rebounds. “He just told us we were going to throw it inside and that we needed to make sure we finished over their 5-10 guards.”
Young matched a season-high with 24 points and 18 rebounds while Suttles scored 19 points and 10 rebounds — surpassing her own season-high of 14 points, which came against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan.
Oklahoma State (18-6, 7-6 in Big 12) survived a barrage of 3-pointers early as Kansas State knocked down five shots from beyond the arc in the first 7 minutes.
“We had to change as coaches,” Littell said. “They shot us out of the zone and we kind of tried to figure out what we did last time. They scored 43 in the first half on us in Manhattan when we played man and we held them to 28 or 29 in the second half. It just flipped this game. It’s just adjustments you have to make during the course of the game and our players made a nice adjustment.”
“Our early success from 3 lulled us into a false sense of comfort,” Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said. “I thought we stopped playing hard after that point and sometimes it can be an illusion to just stand there and feel like the game is going to be easy.”