DePaul-Oklahoma St. Preview

For nearly everyone on Oklahoma State, the NCAA tournament will

be a new experience. Meanwhile, reaching the field of 64 is old hat

for DePaul.

The Cowboys are hoping their two seniors can steady them Sunday

when they face the Blue Demons in a first-round match at Durham,

N.C.

Oklahoma State claimed a No. 7 seed as it makes its first trip

to the tournament since 2010. Seniors Toni Young and Lindsey Keller

are the only players on the Cowgirls (21-10) with NCAA tournament

experience, appearing as freshmen and reaching the second round,

though coach Jim Littell’s team has some success in postseason play

after winning the Women’s NIT last year.

“Building the program, winning the WNIT helped us gain six more

games last year in a tournament setting, and I believe it was a

definite help for our team this year,” Littell said. “The natural

progression was for us to build from winning the WNIT last year to

making the NCAA tournament and, hopefully, winning some games in

the NCAA tournament.”

The Cowgirls, who started the season 11-0, finished tied for

fifth in the Big 12 and played No. 1 Baylor tough in the conference

tournament semifinals before losing 77-69. Young leads Oklahoma

State with 15.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, while Liz

Donohoe (15.0 ppg), Tiffany Bias (12.1) and Brittney Martin (10.1)

also helped the Cowgirls finish 13th in the nation in scoring at

73.9 points per game.

Young had 15 double-doubles, second only to Baylor superstar

Brittney Griner’s 21 in the Big 12.

DePaul (21-11) will have no problems keeping up offensively with

Oklahoma State – the Blue Demons are 24th in the country in scoring

at 71.3 points per game and making their 11th consecutive NCAA

tournament appearance. Doug Bruno’s team finished tied for sixth in

the final version of the current Big East, and with perennial

powers Connecticut and Notre Dame moving to different conferences

next season, could become the cornerstone for the new-look Big

East.

Sophomore guard Brittany Hrynko and junior forward Jasmine Penny

could be those anchors, averaging 14.8 and 13.1 points, while

seniors Anna Martin and Katherine Harry will try to cement their

legacies with a deep run. Martin, who missed eight games in the

middle of the season due to injury, is scoring a team-high 15.7

points while Harry contributes 8.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per

game.

“I think we’re just excited to go out and play at Cameron,”

Martin said. “The team’s really focused, we’ve prepared well and

watched a lot of film so we’re ready to play. This week is the

first week I think we’ve had our whole team be able to play and I

don’t think we’ve played our best basketball yet, so what a great

platform to do so.”

The Blue Demons have won their last two first-round NCAA

tournament games.

The winner of this game will play the winner of No. 2 seed Duke

and 15th-seeded Hampton in the second round on Tuesday.