STILLWATER — Toni Young wasn't shy about her assessment of her performance in Oklahoma State's season opener against Cal Poly.
“I played bad tonight,” she said. “…I don't think I was at where I was last year. I think I still have a lot more improvement.”
A double-double qualifies as a bad night?
Young scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, as the No. 23 Cowgirls rolled to a 90-59 basketball victory Friday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
But Young's frank — negative, even — evaluation of her game could be a positive sign for the Cowgirls. OSU coach Jim Littell said that shows Young is looking at other aspects like defense and offensive rebounding. Young has always had top-notch athleticism, but coaches have stressed that she needs to combine that ability with constant top-notch effort in her senior season.
“She's taking pride in that and getting better at it,” Littell said. “That's what'll make her more of a complete player. For her to acknowledge now that, ‘Hey, I'm not guarding as well as I can,' that tells you it's becoming more important to her.”
Young led a balanced scoring attack for the Cowgirls, as five other players — Liz Donohoe (16 points), Brittney Martin (15), Tiffany Bias (12), Lindsey Keller (10) and Kendra Suttles (10) — finished in double figures.
Martin, a freshman who joined OSU as the top signee in school history, filled out the box score with six rebounds, three assists, six steals and a block in her collegiate debut.
“She's one of those players that looks like she's a good playground player,” Littell said. “She knows when to make a pass when somebody's open. She knows when she's got a crease that she can drive. Basketball coaches say, ‘She's got a real good feel for the game,' and she does.”
OSU led by as many as 33 and made its decisive push with a 16-3 run to end the first half that gave the Cowgirls a 48-28 advantage. Yet Littell said he wants to see his team's patience improve on the offensive end.
“We shot a lot of balls off of one pass,” Littell said. “That's not conducive to finding out who on their team is that person that can't guard, and it's not conducive to offensive rebounding.”
Cal Poly's Molly Schlemer finished 21 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
The Cowgirls next travel to Missouri State on Tuesday night before playing their next six games at Gallager-Iba Arena.