Five Thoughts On Big 12 Women’s Basketball For Feb. 22
There were four Big 12 women’s basketball matchups across the conference on Wednesday. Here are five thoughts on those games.
Oklahoma State In Third Place
The Oklahoma State Cowgirls (20-7, 10-5) beat the Iowa State Cyclones (17-8, 9-6), 73-68, on Wednesday, putting the Cowgirls in third place by themselves with three games remaining. It was the second-best game of the night.
Guard Terryn Milton and forward Taylen Collins were a great combination for Oklahoma State, with Milton scoring 15 points and Collins scoring 14 points. Anna Gret Asi added 10 points. But it was Lexy Keys that hit the game-clinching free throws with less than a second left to seal the game.
Guard Ashley Joens led Iowa State with 20 points and nine rebounds. But she got help inside from forward Morgan Kane, who had 16 points and seven rebounds.
What won this game for Oklahoma State was its shooting. The Cowgirls shot 44 percent to Iowa State’s 38, and OSU led nearly the entire game.
Texas Tech’s Overtime Win
Rhyle McKinney scored a layup with three seconds left to lift Texas Tech to a 69-68 double-overtime win over West Virginia. It ended up being the best game of the night.
Texas Tech (17-11, 5-10) shot 43 percent from the floor and won despite losing Bre’Amber Scott to foul trouble (she had 13 points). McKinney had 13 points, Katie Ferrell had 11 points and Jazmaine Lewis had 11 points. Tech also overcame 18 turnovers.
West Virginia (16-10, 7-8) missed a golden opportunity to collect a second straight road win, just a day after becoming the ‘last team in’ the NCAA Tournament per ESPN Bracketology. The Mountaineers shot 32 percent. JJ Quinerly scored 21 points, Jayla Hemingway scored 15 points while Madisen Smith and Kyah Watson added 11 each.
This loss absolutely hurts WVU. It win might help Texas Tech get back on the bubble.
Baylor Breaks the Streak
The Baylor Bears (17-10, 8-7) broke their four-game losing streak with a 67-57 win over the TCU Horned Frogs (7-19, 1-14).
The Bears badly needed this win. TCU, feeling good after winning its first Big 12 game of the season on Saturday, made Baylor work for it.
Baylor had too much offense, ultimately. Freshman Bella Fontleroy scored 14 points, while guard Ja’Mee Asberry, forward Caitlin Bickle and guard Sarah Andrews each had 12 points. Freshman guard Darianna Littlepage-Buggs had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Guard Tomi Taiwo hit five 3-pointers and scored 17 points for TCU while forward Bella Cravens had 14 points, most of which came in the first half.
In an impressive game by Kansas State, the Wildcats (16-12, 5-10) blew out the Kansas Jayhawks (16-10, 6-9), 63-45, in the second Sunflower Showdown game of the season.
Kansas shot just 31.4 percent from the floor, 21.7 percent from the 3-point line and guard Zakiyah Franklin was the only Jayhawk with double figures, scoring 10 points. Kansas has lost its last three games and five of its last seven. The Jayhawks are picking a bad time to tail off.
Kansas State guard Serena Sundell had a tremendous night, as she scored 24 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished out seven assists and made three steals. Gabby Gregory added 20 points. What really stood out in this game was that Kansas State forced 20 Kansas turnovers.
Kansas State has now won two of its last three and three of its last six. I’m not sure it has the runway to play their way into the NCAA Tournament. But a WNIT bid feels within reach.
The Big 12 Race
Oklahoma and Texas play Saturday for the Big 12 lead. So what happened tonight?
Well, if the Big 12 Tournament started tonight, the rest of the seeding would be pretty easy.
Oklahoma State would be the No. 3 seed and would face No. 6 West Virginia. No. 4 Iowa State would face No. 5 Baylor.
The Wednesday games would feature No. 7 Kansas facing No. 10 TCU, while Texas Tech and Kansas State would play in the game between the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds.
The only team locked into a seed at this point is TCU, which can’t do any better than No. 10.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard