MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OU

March 18, 2014

Cowgirls earn No. 5 seed; Sooners head to N.C.

STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State Cowgirls sat and watched the first three regions of the Women’s NCAA Tournament be announced without their name being called and some of their Big 12 rivals getting announced.

“I was like ‘come on, they got to call our name, they have to,’” sophomore guard Brittney Martin said.

In the last 10 minutes of ESPN’s hour-long NCAA Women’s selection show special, the Cowgirls found out they are the fifth seed in the Notre Dame Region and will face Florida Gulf Coast at 10 a.m. Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind.

“We are very excited to make the tournament,” coach Jim Littell said. “We are going to play a good Gulf Coast team. Everyone is good. We are fired up and ready to go play.”

Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Iowa State found out their tournament destinations before the Cowgirls, who are making their second straight appearance. The selection came more than a week after Oklahoma State competed in the Big 12 Tournament, where it lost in the semifinals to Baylor. Senior point guard Tiffany Bias feels like they are ready.

“This week was good for us in getting things in order, getting everything fixed and our shot is good” Bias said. “I think we are ready for our game.”

Last season, Oklahoma State reached the second round where it was knocked out by Duke, who was playing on its home court. If the Cowgirls win Saturday, they will likely battle Purdue in the same situation on Monday. Martin said last season’s tournament experience will help them this season.

“It’s tough, it’s a little different than playing in the Big 12,” Martin said. “We just have to be ready for anything. ... “We got to go out there and play like we can play. We just go to give the effort we can. We can play against anybody.”

Saturday, will be the first time Oklahoma State (23-8) has seen Florida Gulf Coast (25-7). Littell said he and his staff is starting to get prepared.

“We are going to work on some film tonight,” Littell said. “Start on a scouting report. We will start getting prepared for them (today).”

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