Cowgirl Hoops: Oklahoma State Beats No. 19 Iowa State 73-68


STILLWATER — Jacie Hoyt is just the second coach in Oklahoma State women’s basketball history to get 20 wins in her first season … and Hoyt’s Cowgirls still have three regular season games to play.

Oklahoma State beat No. 19 Iowa State 73-68 on Wednesday night in Gallagher-Iba Arena. The win moves OSU to 20-7 on the season and in sole possession of third place in the Big 12 at 10-5.

“It means a lot,” said an emotional Hoyt in her postgame news conference. “But honestly not because of what we’re doing but because of who I get to do it with. It’s just an incredible group that’s so bought in from top to bottom and so selfless. It’s the fun that we’re having that makes me emotional because I don’t want it to end. We still have a lot of basketball to play, and trust me, no one knows that more than me. But I’m just having the time of my life, and I know they are too. Just to be a part of what we’re doing, it’s really special.”

After the Cowgirls fell to Iowa State in mid-January in Ames, Wednesday’s game came down to the wire. That was, until Arizona transfer Anna Gret Asi hit the dagger. With under a minute to play and the shot clock ticking down, Asi took a hard dribble to her left before crossing over, stepping back and hitting a gnarly 3-pointer to give OSU a 71-66 lead with just 49 seconds to play.

“They defended the initial screen really, and I didn’t feel like I had anything,” OSU guard Terryn Milton said. “I saw [Asi]. She wasn’t really that open, but [Asi] doesn’t need to be open to knock down a 3, ever. So, I pass it to her, and she knew the time was going down. She has ice in her veins — knocked it down. It was a sweet play.”

There was still some defending to do. The Cyclones added a pair of free throws on their ensuing possession. ISU then got off a would-be game-tying 3-point attempt with four seconds to play, but it hit nothing but air. The win was the Cowgirls’.

OSU took a 42-33 lead into halftime thanks to an 18-6 run in the second quarter that saw three Lior Garzon 3-pointers rip the GIA nets.

But Iowa State battled back quickly in the third, going on a 13-2 run to start the half before Taylen Collins then took over for a stretch, scoring six straight points to give OSU a 50-46 lead. But the seesaw continued with a 5-0 Cyclone run. It was an intense quarter with that saw 16 free throws attempted. Eight of the final 11 points of the quarter came from the foul line.

With as back and forth as the game might’ve seemed, Iowa State led for only 41 seconds. The Cowgirls led for 34:24.

Milton led the way for the Cowgirls with 15 points. She was also one of three Cowgirls with four assists. Collins added 14 points and six rebounds, and Asi was the third Cowgirl in double figures with 10 points.

The 20-win season is good for the history book, but Wednesday’s win was big for the here and now, as it gave the Cowgirls’ sole possession of third place in the Big 12. It also gave OSU a win over a team that was projected as a 5 seed in ESPN’s most recent bracketology, where the Cowgirls were projected as a 9 seed. Not bad for a team that was picked ninth in the Big 12’s preseason coaches poll.

“This team got picked ninth,” Hoyt said. “I don’t feel that we’ve ever gotten the respect that we deserve. Sitting here right now, I don’t feel like we’ve got the respect we deserve in the polls, in the rankings, but this team is focused on us. And that’s been our mantra from the beginning is us vs. us. This team is living it out, and I think we just have to continue to focus on that and the respect that I’m hoping for, or the recognition, I think will come and take care of itself.

“But at the end of the day, we got picked ninth and we’re sitting at third right now, and we’re having the time of our life.”

Jacie Hoyt’s Postgame News Conference