Heading into its WNIT opener against Pepperdine on Wednesday night, Oklahoma State built its game plan around Vicky McIntyre.
Then the freshman center was forced to miss the game with flu-like symptoms.
“We had set up a lot of things for her,” OSU coach Kurt Budke said. “So it kind of threw that out of the window.”
The Cowgirls overcame the loss of their second-leading scorer, earning an 81-74 win over Pepperdine at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Freshman Kendra Settles stepped up with McIntyre's absence. She had 10 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes.
Budke is hopeful McIntyre will return for the Cowgirls' second-round game against Wyoming.
BIAS COMES THROUGH
Freshman point guard Tiffany Bias struggled throughout much of the game but had a key defensive stop with just over a minute remaining. That forced Pepperdine into a bad shot.
“Early in the year, it would have continued the whole 48 minutes,” Budke said. “Tonight, she made a change, did other things to help us win this game. She's growing up, and she's only going to get better.”
BRYAN PROVIDES A SPARK
Freshman guard Jenni Bryan provided a spark for the Cowgirls with five points and five rebounds in 18 minutes. Bryan didn't play large minutes for OSU down the stretch. But she helped in the first half as the Cowgirls cut Pepperdine's lead to 42-41 by halftime.
“I thought Jenni was a big spark,” Budke said. “I was very proud of her. She hasn't gotten the minutes she wanted this year, but she never quit, never had a bad attitude. She came in and did a nice job.”