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Another Freshman Of The Year At Oklahoma State?
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By Wendell Barnhouse | wendell@big12sports.com
Big12Sports.com Correspondent

There's a reasonable possibility that a trend will continue when it comes to this season's Freshman of the Year in Big 12 women's basketball.

Oklahoma players won the award in consecutive seasons (Danielle Robinson in 2008 and Whitney Hand in 2009) and then Baylor players were honored in 2010 (Brittney Griner) and 2011 (Odyssey Sims). Last season, Oklahoma State's Liz Donohoe was named the top freshman.

The Cowgirls again have a strong candidate. Check the Conference statistics and you'll find Brittney Martin's name listed in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.

Martin recorded the first triple double in Cowgirls history. She finished with 10 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists against UT-Arlington. Martin had gone to the bench late in the blow out but Littell put her back in the game when informed she needed one assist to reach 10. Martin's pass Morgan Toben resulted in a 3-pointer and Oklahoma State's final field goal in a 90-54 victory.

That historic accomplishment was lost in a non-conference game played three days before Christmas. But it underscored Martin's all-around game.

"She's got a lot of talent," Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said of Martin.

Martin is averaging 9.4 points a game for a team that has balanced scoring. She's third in rebounding and her 54 assists are second to point guard Tiffany Bias. Martin leads the team in steals.

"I think she started looking at herself as a defensive stopper and that was her role," Littell said. "But we need her to score. She's one that can create off the dribble and do some things.

"We challenged her that she needed to find a way to go get 10 (points) and 8 (rebounds) every night ... She needs to be a great defensive player, but she also needs to have the dimension to her game that 'Hey, I'm a scorer.'"

The 6-foot guard from Syracuse, Utah, has helped the Cowgirls move up to No. 12 in the national rankings. Martin has been named the Big 12 freshman of the week three times this season but she's aware that while she has made progress, there's still work to do.

"I don't think I've completely got it yet," Martin said. "But you can never be satisfied. I always have a lot of things to work on. ... I feel a lot more calm. It's a lot more fun when you're not playing so scared.

"I feel like I'm getting the hang of how to play in college instead of coming from high school. I feel like I'm getting it more."

A 3-Point Escape
Kansas State relies on 3-point shooting because its roster is vertically challenged. The Wildcats have attempted 100 more threes than any other team in the Big 12. They live and die with the 3-pointer.

In Saturday night's 57-54 victory over TCU, Kansas State set a Daniel-Meyer Coliseum record by hoisting 36 threes. And it came down to a 3-point miss by the Horned Frogs to prevent overtime. TCU's Zahna Medley, whose 35 percent accuracy from long range is tops among Big 12 freshmen, just missed at the buzzer. Medley finished with a team-high 21.

"I absolutely thought that last three was going in and they were going to tie it and go to overtime," K-State coach Deb Patterson said. "They did what they had to do to get the opportunity to beat us or tie us, and sometimes those shots drop and sometimes they don't. I thought we were toast on that shot."

Senior Brittany Chambers led all scorers with 24, making 5-of-12 from 3-point range.

"We're rolling out of this town on a hope and a prayer and a 'thank you, very much' and a 'see you in the Big 12 Tournament,' " Patterson said.

Layups
When Texas Tech visits West Virginia Tuesday - the first time the schools will have met on the court - it will match two of the Big 12's top defensive teams. The Red Raiders are allowing 52.9 points per game while the Mountaineers are allowing 57.9.

Oklahoma State sophomore Liz Donohoe has made 38 consecutive free throws. The school record is 40 in a row by Andrea Riley. Donohoe has missed just two in 62 attempts and her .968 percentage leads Division I. The NCAA D-I single-season record for free throw accuracy is .964.

Texas sophomore forward Nneka Enemkpali leads the Big 12 with eight double-doubles this season. As a team last season, the Longhorns recorded five double doubles.

Since senior Whitney Hand was lost for the season with a knee injury suffered Dec. 6, Oklahoma junior Aaryn Ellenberg has picked up the slack. Six of her nine games with 20 or more points have come since Hand's injury. Ellenberg needs 77 points to move into the Sooners' top 10 career scoring list.

Sideline chatter
Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale after the Sooners' 69-56 victory over Texas on Coale's 48th birthday (Coale is 5-0 in games played on her birthday):
"It's always good to beat Texas, whether it's my birthday or not. Just watching these guys have success is the best present."

Oklahoma State's Tiffany Bias after the No. 17 Cowgirls blitzed No. 24 Iowa State 71-42 Sunday in Stillwater:
"This was a big respect game. I think that we came out ready to play and focused. We executed our plays and I think that we should get the respect we deserve, so this was a big statement game for us."

West Virginia's Christal Caldwell, who scored 25 points, on the impact Brittney Griner had on Saturday's game. Griner blocked nine shots in the Lady Bears' 76-58 victory:
"Some of the shots you normally take, you just can't do it. You can't go as deep in the paint so you have to pull up, and she's still there, so you have to shoot over her."

Texas Tech coach Kristy Curry on seniors Casey Morris and Chynna Brown, who have sparked the Lady Raiders' offense in Big 12 play:
"It's interesting because you look at who we've been playing and they can't decide if they want to put their strongest defender on Casey or Chynna and you've really got a problem there. I don't mean that in an arrogant way, it's just a match-up problem."

 

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