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Oklahoma State basketball: Kendra Suttles steps up for Cowgirls

The junior post from Lawton has emerged as a well-rounded contributor as the Cowgirls begin Big 12 Tournament play against Texas Tech Saturday morning at the American Airlines Center, a chance for OSU to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume.
BY GINA MIZELL Published: March 8, 2013

Suttles brings a versatile offensive game, with the ability to put the ball on the floor in the paint — yes, with that left hand — and drill the 3-pointer from the top of the key. But perhaps the biggest difference in her game is that she is simply playing harder.

That's been a process for Suttles during her first three seasons. She admits she never ran the floor in high school, opting to stay on the offensive end the entire time.

But now she takes pride in rebounding and defense, even pointing to her role in shutting down Oklahoma's Nicole Griffin in the Cowgirls' victory in Stillwater two weeks ago as her highlight of the season.

“She's gotten better at that,” Littell said. “There's still some room for some improvement on it, but she's played harder, she's been more focused and I think that's been where she's really improved.

“She's always had a high basketball IQ. It's just been a matter of ‘I'm gonna play harder' and ‘I'm gonna compete harder' on a daily basis.”

Suttles hopes her strong stretch run has proved she can be a go-to player for OSU next season, when the Cowgirls will have to replace departing senior and leading scorer Toni Young.

But as OSU tries to grab its first Big 12 Tournament win since 2010 — which will likely come with the right to face No. 1 Baylor in the next round — Littell said there's no need for Suttles to look toward the future.

“The way she's been the last 10 games, we count on her right now,” he said.