After halting a two-game skid to start conference play with a dominating victory against Kansas, Oklahoma State next faces a Texas squad that is, frankly, desperate.
The Longhorns have lost five in a row, including an 0-3 start in Big 12 play.
Is this the perfect time for the 21st-ranked Cowgirls (12-2, 1-2 Big 12) to pick up a coveted road victory to make up for a home loss to Texas Tech? Or is this precisely the type of game where they could be on upset alert?
Coach Jim Littell knows it could go either way.
“Texas is going to play with an extreme amount of urgency right now,” he said. “They're trying to get off of a three-game losing streak (in conference play). They're going to play hard. They're athletic. They're talented. They haven't quite put it together yet.
“They've been in almost every game, and they've just struggled. I expect them to play real well.”
UT (7-7, 0-3 Big 12) is still a proud program that recruits well. But it's been a transition season under first-year coach Karen Aston, a former Longhorn assistant who spent the previous five seasons as the head coach at Charlotte and North Texas. Two of the Longhorns' three losses in Big 12 play have come by four points or less, including an overtime defeat at Iowa State.
A lot of that transition has to do with a large amount of inexperience on the floor. UT starts three freshmen in 6-7 center Imani McGee-Stafford and guards Empress Davenport and Celina Rodrigo.
“They're playing some young ones that are trying to get their feet wet in the Big 12,” Littell said. “But when you've got a player like (junior guard Chassidy) Fussell that can light it up and score like she can, they're always dangerous.”
OSU, meanwhile, will try to put an end to its own struggles on the road. The Cowgirls have won just two of their last 10 conference games away from Gallagher-Iba Arena, including an 83-49 loss at Baylor last Sunday.
Is this where OSU can correct those road woes?
“Need to,” Littell said.