STILLWATER, Okla. — Well, it's back to the road again for Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
STILLWATER, Okla. — Well, it’s back to the road again for Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Still looking for their first victory of the season, the Lady Lions are coming off their only nonconference game in H.O. Clemmons Arena and won’t be back until Jan. 14. Tonight, the Lady Lions play their next-to-last nonconference contest of the season against Oklahoma State.
In Sunday’s 67-37 loss against Arizona, UAPB struggled to score from its own floor, converting 11 of 52 shots (21 percent). It was the fourth straight game the Lady Lions scored 43 or fewer points.
“We rushed a lot of those shots,” UAPB coach Cary Shelton said. “We had some pretty good looks. Mainly, the girls have to slow it down. We’ve seen a lot of pressure, and a lot of times, pressure speeds up the game. I still feel like the girls will have a breakout shooting game real soon.”
The Lady Lions will need one against a Cowgirls team that shoots 45.5 percent as a team and is led by a 63.8 percent shooter in junior forward Toni Young (13.2 points per game). But Shelton wants the Lady Lions to key in defensively on sophomore guard Tiffany Bias, who leads the team in assists with nearly nine per game and averages 11.8 points.
“She does a remarkable job advancing the ball up the floor, finding the open shooter,” Shelton said.
More than a month since a fatal plane crash that killed two of their coaches, the Cowgirls have impressed on the basketball court, winning each game by double digits. Five of their six victories have come since the Nov. 17 accident in Perry County, Ark., that claimed the lives of head coach Kurt Budke, assistant coach Miranda Serna, pilot Olin Brandstetter and Olin’s wife Paula.
A victory tonight will make Oklahoma State 7-0 for the second consecutive season.
“It says a lot about that team and coach (Jim) Littell stepped in and has done a tremendous job,” Shelton said. Littell was promoted to head coach on Dec. 9. “Losing a head coach and an assistant coach, that’s a tremendous loss. They’ve rallied round coach Littell and are playing very hard for him.”