Oklahoma State used a solid second quarter to pace themselves to an 84-61 NCAA Tournament first round win over Wake Forest Sunday.
It was the largest margin of victory for the Cowgirls in the tourney since 2018. Natasha Mack led the way with 27 points and 15 rebounds, while Ja’Mee Asberry added 18 points.
The score was tied after the first quarter, but Oklahoma State used a 9-0 to start the second period to stretch the lead. At halftime were up 42-29, and never looked back.
Cowgirl coach Jim Littell said he liked the way his team played both ends of the court.
“I thought the second quarter was as good as we played all year long, both on the offensive end and defensive end,” he said. “We knocked a lot of balls loose and disrupted what they were doing offensively.”
Mack, a senior after playing her first two years at a junior college, crossed the 1,000-point mark in the game. She also dished four assists and blocked four shots. Littell said the Texas native has been a great leader for the team.
“First and foremost, she has been a great teammate all year long; her teammates love her, they love playing with her, she has great confidence level, but doesn’t have an ego,” he said. ” She is humble; she’s about the team, she wants to win, she is one of the best teammates we ever had here.”
Asberry, who is one of the best three-point shooters in the country, made four of them on the day to lead a balanced attack from both starters and reserves.
Oklahoma State came into the Tournament as an eighth seed, but Littell thinks they should have been higher.
“A lot of us felt we are better than an eight seed,” he said. “We wanted to earn some respect and show people we can play.”
The Cowgirls will face Stanford in the second round of the Alamo region on Tuesday.