STILLWATER — Tiffany Bias voluntarily faced the tough questions late Tuesday night, openly owning up to her “disappointing” 11 turnovers, a career high, in Oklahoma State's home loss to West Virginia.
Saturday night brings the next opportunity for the junior point guard to rebound. But it also brings almost surely her toughest individual matchup against Baylor All-American Odyssey Sims, whom Cowgirl coach Jim Littell calls the best defensive guard he's ever seen.
“As much as it's a challenge, I just play my game,” Bias said. “I don't really worry about that. You can't really pinpoint who's guarding you. You need to learn, as a point guard, to just run your team and get things done.
“(Sims is) a great defender, but at the same time, you just have to protect the ball and not let her use her body against her.”
The Mountaineers consistently pressured Bias for the entire length of the floor, often using a double-team that forced freshman Brittney Martin to handle the ball and initiate the OSU offense. Bias admitted that defense also caused her to rush and led to too many careless passes.
“As a junior point guard, I shouldn't be making those mistakes,” Bias said. “But that game's over and it's on to the next one. We can't dwell on that one.”
Don't necessarily expect those same double-teams from Baylor, though. Sims can be a lockdown defender on her own. Not to mention, lurking in the lane will be, of course, Brittney Griner.
“What makes (Sims) different than a lot of people is she likes playing defense better than playing offense,” Littell said. “There's not many players that have that makeup anymore
“Her team feeds off of that, and her offense feeds off of her defense. She's just a special player.”
Bias struggled — as most players do — in her last game against Baylor, tallying nine turnovers compared to just five assists last month. And Littell, like Bias, was up-front Wednesday night in his assessment that the Cowgirls will usually struggle to win when Bias doesn't play well.
But he's certainly not worried about the psyche of his point guard moving forward.
“She's going to compete,” he said. “She had a rough one (against WVU), but there's never been any question of her desire to play hard and the motor that she has. There's nobody that felt worse about having a high number of turnovers than her.
“She's going to continue to get better because of the way she approaches each day in practice.”