Oklahoma State senior Tiffany Bias admits the Cowgirls’ recent stretch of games has been upsetting.
It’s also been an oddity.
No. 21-ranked Oklahoma State has alternated wins and losses the past 13 games, all against Big 12 opponents. The hope, though, is that Saturday morning’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament opener against 12th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast in West Lafayette, Ind., will trigger a stretch of wins for the Cowgirls.
“Right now, it’s just a roller coaster,” Bias said. “I think we’ve been in a slump a couple of games. We fight back when we’re down, and that’s all you can ask for is to fight back.
“But some of the games, we didn’t show up and it shows sometimes we had a bad practice and it translated over to the game. We’ve learned by losing, which is not how you want to learn. We’re a team, we stick together and we get through it together.”
Tipoff is set for 10 a.m. at Purdue’s Mackey Arena. The game will be televised by ESPN2.
The Cowgirls, who enter the tournament as a fifth seed with a 23-8 record, last won consecutive games in January. They had a three-game winning streak from Jan. 14-22 against TCU, Texas Tech and Kansas.
Since then, they have lost to Baylor three times, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State and Texas. The most recent loss to Baylor came in the Big 12 Tournament, too.
“We’ve had some inconsistency in our game,” OSU coach Jim Littell said. “The second thought is there’s been some games we haven’t shot it very well and then the third way to look at it is we play in the best conference in America.
“There’d be a lot of people that have a win and a loss playing within our league.”
But Saturday is a chance to start over. The Cowgirls are making their second straight appearance in the tournament after winning the WNIT in 2012. They hope to advance past their second-round exit last season.
Florida Gulf Coast might not be the easiest 12th seed, though.
The Eagles have won 12 straight games, including their fourth consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference championship.
“I can think of a bunch of people I’d rather play than Florida Gulf Coast, to be honest,” Littell said.
OSU knows moving forward that consecutive wins are vital, but the first one is the big one.
“I think that we’ll be fine and put a string of wins together,” Bias said. “I think everyone knows what’s at stake. It’s one-and-done, so I think everyone’s ready and prepared.”