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OSU women's basketball: Cowgirls coach Jim Littell calls Iowa State the 'toughest place to play in the Big 12'

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: January 10, 2014
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photo - Iowa State's Brynn Williamson, center, and Seanna Johnson, right, celebrate with teammates after their 83-70 victory over Iowa in an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, in Ames, Iowa. Williamson scored 21 points to lead Iowa State in the victory. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Iowa State's Brynn Williamson, center, and Seanna Johnson, right, celebrate with teammates after their 83-70 victory over Iowa in an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, in Ames, Iowa. Williamson scored 21 points to lead Iowa State in the victory. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

When Jim Littell filled out his preseason Big 12 ballot, he automatically penciled Iowa State into a spot in the top 3.

Why? Hilton Magic.

“I think it's the toughest place to play in the Big 12,” the Oklahoma State coach said. “I know how difficult it is to win in that place, and if you win all your home games, you're gonna be in the mix for a Big 12 championship.”

Quieting that rowdy road atmosphere will be OSU's challenge Saturday when it takes on the Cyclones in an intriguing early conference tilt between two top-15 teams.

The Cowgirls haven't won in Ames since 2007. And Iowa State doesn't simply rely on the aura of Hilton Coliseum.

The Cyclones have used stellar shooting — they lead the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (38.5 percent) — to sprint out to a 14-0 start. Freshman Jadda Buckley leads the Big 12 in that category (55.8 percent), while 6-3 post Hallie Christofferson has even made 34.5 percent of her shots from beyond the arc.

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