Oklahoma State basketball: Cowgirls' opponents target Toni Young
OSU's foes know if they get the team's leading scorer and rebounder out of the game with foul trouble, they have a better chance to win.
No. 25 Oklahoma State at West Virginia
*When: 6 p.m. Wednesday
*Where: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, W.Va.
*Radio: KGFY-FM 105.5
Three things to know
*West Virginia won the first meeting between these two squads, 67-61 in Stillwater. This is OSU's first trip to Morgantown.
*Tiffany Bias is two steals away from becoming the third player in school history to reach 1,000 points, 500 assists and 200 steals.
*West Virginia has won three of its last four games and leads the conference in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (26.8 percent).
Young's foul trouble has become arguably the most common theme in the Cowgirls' Big 12 losses.
Against Texas Tech, a double-digit OSU lead turned into a five-point deficit after Young picked up her second foul midway through the first half and sat until the break. Then, she fouled out in the final two minutes of a game the Cowgirls lost 64-59.
Against Kansas State, Young picked up her fourth foul with about eight minutes remaining in the second half of a 76-70 overtime defeat.
Against West Virginia, two fouls limited Young to just two points in 11 minutes in the first half, but she scored 13 points in a full 20 minutes of the second half. OSU lost 67-61.
Littell knows fouls will naturally happen throughout the course of the game, but stressed there's a difference between an effort foul and a silly foul. Young also admits she sometimes lets her emotions take over on the floor, which can lead to frustration fouls.
Coale's Bedlam strategy suggests Young now has a reputation as a player who will foul early and often. That means other opponents in the regular season's final month are also likely to try to force her to the bench early.
And Young is the ultimately the only person who can make sure she stays on the floor.
“There's going to be some hustle fouls, but there's going to be some fouls that you take yourself out of the game,” Littell said. “I believe great players never take themselves out of a game.
“You never saw (Michael) Jordan, LeBron (James), those guys in foul trouble and (taking) themselves out of a game.”
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