With about a minute remaining in Oklahoma State's blowout victory over Vermont, starters Lindsey Keller and Brittney Martin checked back in for the Cowgirls.
Coach Jim Littell certainly wasn't trying to be a poor sport or run up the score.
It's just that the No. 15 Cowgirls currently don't have enough players to completely empty their bench.
For OSU — a team that has bolted out to an 8-0 start, boasts the nation's top scoring offense and continues to improve on the defensive end — perhaps its biggest deficiency as it enters Saturday's nonconference contest at UT Arlington is its lack of overall depth.
Or maybe it's really not something to be all that alarmed about.
“I believe all the nine (healthy players) that are here can play and contribute,” Littell said. “It's not like we have six or seven that can play.
“Most teams, when they get in conference play, they narrow the bench to eight or nine, anyway. So I don't think we're in any dire situation.”
Injury-racked women's basketball rosters has emerged as a story this season in the state, where coach Sherri Coale's Oklahoma squad is 9-2 despite being down to eight healthy players.
The OSU Cowgirls were already set to enter the season with a smaller roster. Five players from last year's team transferred after its run to the WNIT championship, and OSU began practice with 11 Cowgirls.
But then freshman guard Brittany Atkins had her knee scoped in the preseason, and has yet to see the floor. And last week, sophomore guard Jordan Schultz decided to leave the program for personal reasons.
That leaves the Cowgirls with nine healthy players, with all seeing an average of at least 11 minutes per game.
Because of the shorter bench, Littell has stressed that the Cowgirls need to take care of themselves. That means taking the proper steps to prevent injury and illness, eating right and get enough sleep.
Because on the basketball floor, Keller said the Cowgirls trust each other's abilities. And she looks at the fact that all nine players have contributed thus far — and could be needed during conference play — as a positive.
“It's easier to keep people happy,” she said. “And when you're happy, you play better.
“There's no hiding behind someone else. There's no relaxing and saying, ‘Oh, I'm just going to chill this game.' No. You're all going to play (and) you're all going to have to do something when you come in.”
No. 15 Oklahoma State vs. UT Arlington
*When: 2 p.m. Saturday
*Where: College Park Center (Arlington, Texas)
*Radio: KGFY-FM 105.5
Oklahoma State (8-0);;;;;
UT Arlington (2-7);;;;;