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Cowgirl Hoops: Oklahoma State Set to Host Iowa State with Big 12 Seeding Implications on the Line

OSU and Iowa State are tied for third in the Big 12 standings.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — The Cowgirls were picked ninth in the Big 12 coaches’ preseason poll. Well, Wednesday those same Cowgirls play Iowa State, where the winner will take sole possession of third with three games to go.

Oklahoma State hosts the Cyclones at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Gallagher-Iba Arena. Iowa State was picked to win the league in that preseason poll. The Cyclones beat the Cowgirls 69-64 on Jan. 18 in Ames, but a lot has changed since then.

The Cowgirls’ new group under coach Jacie Hoyt has found more consistency and enters Wednesday’s matchup on a five-game win streak. That streak has seen the Cowgirls top Texas Tech twice as well as wins over TCU, West Virginia and Baylor. OSU didn’t have a midweek game last week before hitting the road and beating Tech in triple overtime in Lubbock, a game where Hoyt says her Cowgirls didn’t play their best.

“We’ve just gotten so much better [since the first meeting with Iowa State],” Hoyt said. “I think because we had so much inconsistency from injuries, from illness, we just really couldn’t get a rhythm. It didn’t really look like that against Tech; I think coming off that off week, we had to shake a little rust off. However, coming off the Baylor game, I kinda was thinking, OK, finally we’ve got that continuity that we didn’t have before and pieces are starting to click.

“We just got everyone on the same page and clicking together. I think we’ve just gotten better. We’ve gotten smarter defensively. I think we’re a much better defensive team than we were that first time around. Then I think offensively just that continuity that I mentioned.”

The Cowgirls will have a big piece Wednesday that they didn’t have in Ames: Eddie Sutton Court. OSU hasn’t lost on its home floor in the calendar year, and the Cowgirls are 13-2 at home this season.

ESPN’s updated bracketology has the Cowgirls projected as a 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but a win Wednesday could be a major resume booster, as Iowa State is a projected 5 seed.

“It’s so hard to win on the road that when you get to be back home, you gotta create that same environment for your opponent and want to protect it,” Hoyt said. “I can’t wait to be back. The energy our last home game against Baylor was electric. I’m excited to hopefully have that again on Wednesday.”

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