By Wendell Barnhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of the women's college basketball world is aware of the Brittney who plays in the Big 12 Conference. That would be Baylor's Brittney Griner. But there's another Brittany (different spelling) who is having a similar impact for her team.
Kansas State junior guard Brittany Chambers made the plays that counted at the opportune times as the Wildcats started 2-0 in Big 12 play by winning at Kansas. The Wildcats (11-3 overall, 2-0 Big 12) were picked to finish ninth in the preseason poll of the coaches but are on top of the standings after Week One.
"I think you could say that was a classic rivalry game, it was just, from a coach's perspective, and possibly our players would say - gosh it was ugly," Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said of her team's 63-57 victory in Lawrence. "There was so many hard fought possessions that really weren't very productive at times for both teams, and I think what separated us was we had a couple of big shots in critical situations."
Kansas had tied the game at 47-all thanks to a 6-0 run. The Jayhawks were poised to take the lead but Aishah Sutherland's rebound spun around the rim and off. Kansas State rebounded and its offensive possession ended with Chambers making a challenged, off-balance 3-pointer for a 50-47 lead.
"I thought that was a very hard 3 to get off and how she got it off and how she got the make, the only way I can describe it is that's Brittany Chambers," Patterson said. "She makes circus plays, circus shots, impossible shots in critical situations at times."
Chambers, who was named as the Big 12's player of the week, led the Wildcats with 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting and 5-of-7 from 3-point range.
"They had a lot of different players on me, KU is very athletic so they make it hard to get catches," Chambers said. "I think last year I had a rough game getting open at all, so I knew it would be like that in this game."
Good To The Bone
Defending national champion Texas A&M expected and needed Kelsey Bone to be a low-post force. The 6-5 sophomore was stepping in and replacing Danielle Adams, who provided inside scoring and rebounding for the Aggies the last two seasons.
Going into Sunday's Big 12 game with Oklahoma, Bone was averaging 12.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Nothing wrong with those numbers, but Bone was struggling on the defensive end. She found herself removed from the starting lineup for two games in mid-December.
In Sunday's 73-58 victory over the Sooners, Bone scored 18 but she also contributed on defense; she had four the Aggies' 11 steals. It was her best all-around game so far.
"I thought she only made two bad plays the whole ball game," Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. "If that's all I can say negative, then she's had a heck of a day and give her a lot of credit, because she's taking coaching."
"I knew I had an advantage down low," Bone said, noting the foul trouble that limited OU's post players. "(Teammate) Skylar Collins told me I should dominate. I've always known that, but when you hear it from somebody that goes through the trenches with you, it really rings true."
• Oklahoma State held Texas to just 13 field goals in its 70-51 victory Saturday. The Longhorns' top three scorers Yvonne Anderson (11.2 points per game), Chassidy Fussell (16.3) and Ashleigh Fontenette (12.3) were a combined 3-of-27 against Oklahoma State and finished with a total of 18 points.
• Baylor was the first No. 1 women's team in the Associated Press poll ever to play a game in Ames. "That was definitely some motivation right there," Cyclones guard Lauren Mansfield said. "We were ready to go."
• Iowa State had a 17-2 scoring edge from its bench players in its 57-45 loss to top-ranked Baylor.
• It was the fourth time Iowa State had faced the nation's No. 1 team. In the previous three games, the Cyclones lost by an average of 26 points.
• Texas A&M has won six consecutive games against Oklahoma and eight of the last nine meetings.
• Baylor entered Saturday's game averaging 85.6 points per game but Iowa State hled the Lady Bears to a season-low 57 points. The previous scoring low for Baylor was 66 points against Connecticut.
• Baylor hasn't allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent in 189 straight games, dating back to March 25, 2006 against Maryland.
• Oklahoma will honor the 10th anniversary of its 2002 Final Four team at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10 in Norman. The event will take place at the USPS National Center for Employee Development and tickets are $35 per person.