NORMAN — Jim Littell talked about beginning a new season when Oklahoma State finished the first half of Big 12 play 4-5.
The No. 22 Cowgirls started the right way with a 76-59 home victory over TCU on Tuesday night. Next comes the first Bedlam clash of the season against No. 23 Oklahoma at 4 p.m. Sunday in Norman.
The OSU coach talked with The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell about that matchup.
After watching the film, what did you most take away from the win against TCU?
We played pretty well defensively. Maybe didn't cover the 3s as well as we wanted to, but we limited their looks inside and didn't send them to the free-throw line very much. And then we shot a high percentage ourselves. Shooting 50 percent from the floor, I thought that was a big bonus for us.
Kendra Suttles continues to play well since being inserted into the starting lineup. She's scored in double figures in five of the past six games. Where has she most helped this team?
Obviously, she's helping us by being pretty consistent and putting up some double-digit (scoring) games, but she's also rebounding the ball well and we use her a lot to pass the ball and distribute the ball. She's been very solid in a lot of different ways.
How much can your team prove in facing a ranked opponent on the road in a rivalry game?
It's a big challenge for us, but it's a great opportunity to go down there and play in a Bedlam game. It's going to be an exciting atmosphere. We've got quite a few kids from Oklahoma on our roster that I know are excited to play.
How impressed are you with the way OU has continued to play well despite the rash of injuries the Sooners have sustained, particularly to Whitney Hand? You've been very complimentary of her in the past.
What Coach (Sherri) Coale's done has been remarkable this year. But I think you still have a Whitney Hand to lead. She's just leading in a different capacity. I think one of the big pluses for them this year is Joanna McFarland has played very well. There's probably not anybody that's playing harder or more relentless than McFarland. On top of that, they still have a lot of players that shoot the ball well.
What's going to be the biggest key for your team in the game?
We've got to control the boards. We've got to get back — defensive transition is probably the No. 1 key. Defensive transition, rebound the basketball and cover the 3-point shooters.
You've now been a part of the Bedlam rivalry for several years. What makes it special?
It's the same in every sport that you have. It's for bragging rights within the state. A lot of times, we're recruiting the same players. It's just your typical in-state rivalry game where there's a lot of excitement. If you can't get excited for a game like this, you've got a problem.
Do you have a favorite Bedlam memory?
We got a big win against them last year at home. And then the game when Andrea Riley had 45 points (in 2008). Those are the two big memories.