STILLWATER — Emotions were high, and hearts were heavy at Oklahoma State this week, with the school remembering four lives lost in the tragic plane crash one year ago.
And nowhere was it felt more than inside the Cowgirl basketball locker room.
“You could kind of see the emotions in the eyes of our players at the beginning of the week,” coach Jim Littell said. “They were very aware of what this week was about.”
But through the draining seven days, featuring touching remembrances and rehashed memories, OSU remained focused on basketball.
And it showed Sunday afternoon, when the Cowgirls dominated Weber State 101-49 in their most complete performance of the early season.
It started right away, with OSU jumping to a quick 16-2 lead, and continued from there.
Leading 56-24 at halftime, the Cowgirls were able to get young players some needed playing time.
Ten Cowgirls played. And all 10 Cowgirls scored at least four points.
“That's good for our basketball team, that's good for the morale of our players,” Littell said. “Just getting some young players those minutes is going to pay off for us.”
The post duo of Lindsey Keller and Toni Young, becoming more reliable by the game, set the tone, combining for 27 points and 11 rebounds in the game's first 30 minutes.
Then they took a comfortable seat on the bench, watching LaShawn Jones, the duo's young backup, dominate the rest of the game.
Jones had a career-high 18 points and eight rebounds.
“It was really good to get some of the other players in,” Keller said. “You always get really excited when they score. And of course (Jones), she had an amazing game today. She's gonna be a good player.”
Now 3-0, the Cowgirls are ranked 22nd in the country and one game into a favorable six-game homestand. So spirits are high, despite a draining week.
“Any time that you can get on the court and have the opportunity to play, I think that helps the emotional makeup of our team,” Littell said. “It's been a tough week, tough couple days, but I'm proud of the way the kids hung together and endured difficult times.”