STILLWATER — It appears Toni Young is growing up.
The sophomore was outstanding as Oklahoma State advanced in the WNIT on Wednesday night with an 81-74 basketball win over Pepperdine at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Young finished with a career-high 34 points and grabbed 18 rebounds.
“She's a beast. Nobody can stop her,” OSU guard Lakyn Garrison said. “I tell her to take it to the rack every time.”
Young was 15 of 21 from the field, and her 18 rebounds was 12 more than any other player. At 6-foot-2, Young had the size advantage, but she often used her quickness to score against Pepperdine.
Young matched the potential she's shown all season with production against Pepperdine. Young has come on in the final games of her sophomore season, including strong outings against Missouri, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
“I want her to be disappointed when she doesn't have a night like tonight,” coach Kurt Budke said. “And she's showing signs of that.”
OSU held the clear size advantage, scoring 42 of its 81 points in the paint. Young used her size and athleticism to get easy looks at the basket.
“I didn't try to change my shot (to avoid getting blocked),” Young said. “I just relaxed and shot the ball.”
With freshmen center Vicky McIntyre missing the game due to illness, Young recognized her team would need a big game. She came through with one of the best games of her college career.
“She's more athletic than anybody I know,” Garrison said. “I don't think she understands the talent she has. I see it, and everybody else sees it, but she's not the one to say she's a good player.”
In the final games of her sophomore season, Young has recognized how much her team needs her.
“At the beginning, I could show up here and there and we would still do (well),” she said. “Now, if I'm having a horrible game, they're there to say they still need me.”