Day & Time: Saturday, March 17, 2018, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, Miss.
TV/Streaming: ESPN 2/WatchESPN
Announcers: Courtney Lyle, Tamika Catchings
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, Z89 (89.1 WJPZ-FM Syracuse)
Oklahoma State blog: Cowboys Ride for Free
Current Streak: It’s a clean slate! This is the first time that Syracuse and Oklahoma State’s women’s basketball programs will face each other. For the record, ‘Cuse men’s hoops is 1-1 all-time versus Oklahoma State in the NCAA Tournament.
First Meeting: Saturday!
Last Meeting: Never!
Head Coaches: SU: Quentin Hillsman (12th season, 261-140). Oklahoma State: Jim Littell (7th season, 146-79)
Opposing Coach Bio: Littell rose to the Oklahoma State head coaching position after 14 seasons as the head coach of Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kan. Littell’s record at SCCC was 418-61, and he led them to nine conference titles. Littell has been at Oklahoma State since the 2011-2012 season, and the Cowgirls have reached the postseason each season since he took the job. In that span, Oklahoma State has won the Women’s NIT Championship (2011-12) and has reached the NCAA Sweet Sixteen (2013-14).
Last Year: The 2016-17 Oklahoma State squad was a far cry to what the 2017-18 version is. Last year’s Cowgirls was bounced from the Women’s NIT in the first round by Abilene Christian. The Wildcats pulled off a 66-56 upset over the Cowgirls in Stillwater, Okla. Overall, Oklahoma State finished with a 17-15 overall record and went 6-12 in the Big 12 conference.
Last Game: Oklahoma State lost to West Virginia in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City on Saturday, March 3. Final score was 69-60. Cowgirls forward/center Kaylee Jensen posted 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, and guard Loryn Goodwin followed with 15 points to round out double-digit scorers for Oklahoma State. West Virginia saw four of its players post double figure outings. Oklahoma State was also heavily out-rebounded, 39-28.
She’s Pretty Good-win: Cowgirls guard Loryn Goodwin is to Oklahoma State, as Tiana Mangakahia is to Syracuse. Goodwin was a named 2017-18 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and was a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 First Team. She leads the Cowgirls in scoring (20.9 ppg), assists (5.3 apg) and steals (3.5 spg). A graduate student at Oklahoma State, Goodwin has spent time with four different collegiate programs – North Texas, Butler, UTSA, and Oklahoma State.
Cowgirl Legend: Oklahoma State senior forward/center Kaylee Jansen has been a fixture in the Cowgirl program since she was a freshman, when she started all 32 games. She averages a double-double of 18.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game this season. She has scored at least 10 points in all-but one game this season – game No. 2 versus Incarnate Word, where she scored 9 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. In her past three seasons, she has nearly averaged a double-double. In that span, Jensen has averaged 17.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Like her aforementioned teammate, Jensen was also a unanimous 2017-18 All-Big 12 First Team selection.
If Syracuse Wins: The Orange would get the winner of No. 1 Mississippi State and No. 16 Nicholls State on Monday March 19. The Orange lost to Mississippi State, 76-65, in Las Vegas back on December 22.
If Syracuse Loses: Considering the Orange returned one starter from last season in Gabrielle Cooper, the fact that Syracuse played to a No. 8 seed is a feat in itself. (Of course, Coach Q would tell you otherwise.) Point guard Tiana Mangakahia broke numerous program and conference records and earned national recognition as one of the country’s best at her position. Also, Syracuse is losing just three players after this season -- Jasmine Nwajei, Abby Grant, and Marisa Romeo. Nwajei was the only of the three to contribute consistent bench minutes. The eldest returning starter is Miranda Drummond, who will be a redshirt senior next season.
Fun Fact No. 1: New ‘Cuse villan Doug Gottlieb is an Oklahoma State alumnus. You might consider this a double-slap in the face if Syracuse wins this one. But then again...
Good win for the Cuse. Winning doesn’t validate inclusion, but it does mean you get to keep playing. Congrats— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) March 15, 2018
Fun Fact No. 2: Oklahoma State guard Loryn Goodwin has some athleticism running (literally) in her family. She is cousins with former Olympian and current San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. Marquise is a fast individual. He ran a 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the 2013 NFL Combine. He’s also not a bad fantasy football or Madden NFL pick for wide receiver.
Follow the Author
Corey Crisan is the Orange Women’s Basketball reporter for TNIAAM. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @cdcrisan for coverage all season long.