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Oklahoma State basketball: Cowgirls have little NCAA experience but have seen lots of tough competition

Toni Young is the only Oklahoma State player who's played in the NCAA Tournament, but the Cowgirls have been tested by a tough Big 12 slate that includes defending champion Baylor.
BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: March 23, 2013
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photo - OSU: Oklahoma State's Toni Young (15) dives for the ball beside Baylor's Jordan Madden (3) during the Big 12 tournament women's college basketball game between Oklahoma State University and Baylor at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Sunday, March 10, 2012.  Oklahoma State lost 77-69. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
OSU: Oklahoma State's Toni Young (15) dives for the ball beside Baylor's Jordan Madden (3) during the Big 12 tournament women's college basketball game between Oklahoma State University and Baylor at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Sunday, March 10, 2012. Oklahoma State lost 77-69. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Lindsey Keller also remains from that 2009-10 Cowgirl squad, but she has been shut down for the rest of the season because of multiple concussions. So that leaves Young, OSU's leading scorer and rebounder, as the only Cowgirl who will not step on an NCAA Tournament floor for the first time Sunday.

Littell said Young was just a “pup” back then. She was only a freshman, after all. Still, she became a vital piece of that victory over Chattanooga, scoring a then-career-high 22 points. She then tallied eight points and 11 rebounds against Georgia.

But Young hasn't given any deep advice to her teammates who have never been a part of March Madness. She told them to enjoy the excitement, but to treat the contest against DePaul like any other game.

Because it should be like the bulk of OSU's Big 12 slate, where the Cowgirls have been tested for the better part of two months. Seven out of 10 teams from the conference made the NCAA Tournament. And in its last game, OSU took Baylor down to the wire in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament.

That's why Young isn't too concerned about nerves as the rest of the Cowgirls make their NCAA Tournament debuts.

“We have competition every night in the Big 12,” she said. “Most of the teams that are in the Big 12 go to the NCAA Tournament. That's not (the case) in every conference. So we get an NCAA game every time we step on the court in the Big 12.”