Lindsey Keller stopped suddenly near the left wing, setting her body up like a brick wall and just waiting for an unsuspecting Texas Tech player to slam directly into it.
There's no record of that vicious screen in the final box score, but it helped free up teammate Liz Donohoe to drive to the basket for an and-1 layup.
And that's a perfect example of what Keller brings to a 12th-ranked Oklahoma State squad that will take on Kansas State Wednesday night in Manhattan.
Keller's stats — 8.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game — don't exactly pop off the page. But the senior center's physicality on both ends of the floor — often while matching up against players bigger than her 6-foot-2 frame — has been critical to the Cowgirls' 14-2 start and rise in the national rankings. And she's played the entire season with what she describes as a hyperextended left shoulder.
“A lot of things that she does are unheralded,” OSU coach Jim Littell said. “She sets great screens. She defends the toughest post (player) every night. There isn't a lot of glamour in what she does, because she does the dirty work a lot of times.”
Don't be fooled by Keller's feisty on-court demeanor, though. Her personality off the floor is quite the opposite. She's the type that enjoys scrapbooking in her spare time and is happy to just sit quietly with a teammate having a bad day.
“She's tough and she looks mean on the court, but she is the nicest person and the most loyal person,” said Donohoe, Keller's roommate.
So how does Keller make that mental switch when she steps on the floor? It's pretty simple — she hates to lose.
And not just while battling for post position. She calls arguments “debates,” and she'll try to win. When walking with a group to a car, she'll pick up her speed just enough to make sure she gets there first.
“I'm not mean,” Keller said with a smile. “I'm just very competitive.”
But she also enjoys looking out for others.
She may beat that friend to the car, but she'll give up the front seat. When asked about how she's progressed this season, she immediately defers the team's success so far. She's majoring in secondary education and hopes to teach middle or high school social studies one day.
“I like taking care of people,” Keller said. “I like making other people happy. It really is special to me. I like helping. I like encouraging people.”
Keller, who grew up in Goddard, Kan., will make her final stops in her home state as a Cowgirl this week, first against the Wildcats and then at Kansas on Saturday night.
And she recognizes her time at OSU is winding down. That she's only got about two more months to compete on the basketball floor. And to give to her teammates.
“It really makes you just treasure every moment,” she said. “Every game. Every practice. Hanging out with the girls. The friends you make here, the people you meet. It all kind of just means a lot more. …
“I realize this, that it's something special. This is a special time in my life. It's almost over, and I'm really putting everything out there.”
No. 12 Oklahoma State at Kansas State
*When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
*Where: Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, Kan.
*TV: FCS (Cox 271, DirecTV 617, U-Verse 647)
*Radio: KGFY-FM 105.5
Three things to know
*OSU is looking for its first four-game winning streak in Big 12 play since 2008.
*OSU forward Liz Donohoe leads the nation in free-throw percentage (96.8) and has made 38 consecutive attempts, two away from the school record set by Andrea Riley in 2006.
*K-State's Brittany Chambers ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring with 19.1 points per game.