Coaches around the Big 12 are using the phrase "short-term memory." Translated from coach speak, it means that regardless of a game's outcome, a team needs to forget about it and move on to the most important game - the next one.
But Kansas State deserves to let Wednesday night's game linger in the memory banks. The Wildcats displayed remarkable grit and determination in a 76-70 overtime defeat of No. 12 Oklahoma State.
Coach Deb Patterson's team was vertically challenged to start the season and now it is personnel challenged.
K-State lost freshman guard Kelly Thomson and junior forward Katya Leick before the season with non-contact ACL tears. Freshman guard Marissa Ellis left the program at semester and freshman forward Stacey Malone has missed the last three games with a foot injury.
During Monday's practice - as Allen Iverson would say, we're talkin' 'bout practice - Ashia Woods (Achilles tendon) and Ashlynn Knoll (ACL) suffered season-ending injuries. The Wildcats went into the game with the Cowgirls with seven scholarship players. And late in regulation, junior forward Chantay Caron was hurt taking a charge and had to leave the game.
And even shorthanded, the Wildcats won; making a school-record 16 3-pointers helped offset the lack of depth.
"A couple days ago we had the wind taken out of our sails for the day, and not only because they're two great players, but because we're a family," said senior Brittany Chambers, who scored a game-high 26 points on Wednesday. "We could tell (Tuesday) that we were trying to get our feet back under us and get our heads back in it.
"And (Wednesday), at shoot around we came in with our heads on, got shots up and took the court with a no-back-down, we're-going-to-play-you attitude... It feels even better because it was a hard-fought game."
Saturday Kansas State will play at Texas, which is still seeking its first Big 12 victory and has lost a school-record nine consecutive games. If Caron hasn't recovered, the Wildcats will have just six players in uniform.
"I know everyone can see we have a group that has the heart and has learned to be extremely competitive," Patterson said. "That's what we want. When you do that, good things can come from it."
Third Time's The Charm?
Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly is conflicted. On one hand, he wants his team to forget its two losses to Baylor in the span of 14 days.
"What I told our team is, 'We're 4-1,'" Fennelly said of his team, which is 4-3 in Big 12 play. "That's what we told them. We're taking the Baylor out of it, and now we'll see."
On the other hand, he doesn't believe the Cyclones played their best in their two games with the defending national champions and he would welcome a third game.
"I'd love to play them again," Fennelly said. "I really would. If you're playing them again, it might be in the semifinals of the conference tournament, it might be the Big 12 championship game. Hell, it might be in the Final Four. I mean, why not?
"I know. I would, I would just like to see us give it one more shot and do the things we can do and see what happens."
Wednesday's loss turned in the first half when Baylor's defense smothered Iowa State. During a stretch of 11:28, the Cyclones were scoreless as the Lady Bears went on a 17-0 run. The Cyclones missed 14 straight shots and had 10 of their 18 turnovers in that span.
"Besides Brittney Griner, they're a quick team," Iowa State's Anna Prins said. "They make things chaotic at times. Just trying to get the ball down the court takes time, and then you got to get in your offense. Sometimes you're just getting jumbled up just trying to get the shot off. Occasionally, it wasn't a great shot."
Baylor's Griner has 2,819 career points. She needs 18 points to pass Oklahoma State's Andrea Riley (2,836 points) to become the leading scorer in Big 12 history. Griner has 657 blocked shots in her career and needs seven to pass Louella Tomlinson's of Saint Mary's (Calif.) for the NCAA Division I record.
Baylor has won 29 consecutive Big 12 games. The Lady Bears' last regular-season Big 12 loss was at Texas Tech, 56-45, on Feb. 18, 2011. They're 40-1 in regular-season Big 12 games over the past three seasons.
When Iowa State lost to Baylor on Jan. 9, the Lady Bears had a 50-0 edge in points in the paint. Wednesday night, Baylor's edge in paint points was just 24-20. The teams battled to a 35-all standoff in rebounding. The teams also battled to a 35-35 tie on the scoreboard in the second half.
Iowa State's Chelsea Poppens is now third in career rebounds with 927. She needs 73 rebounds to become the 14th player in Big 12 history with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
Kansas set a record for victory margin in a Big 12 game with its 76-38 victory over Texas. The Jayhawks allowed just 12 points in the first half, the fewest points KU has allowed in a half in a Big 12 game.
Kansas senior guard Angel Goodrich surpassed the 1,000-point career barrier, scoring 20 against Texas. The Jayhawks have three players with 1,000 points in their career as Carolyn Davis and Monica Engelman have surpassed the 1K plateau.
Kansas State senior guard Brittany Chambers made six 3-pointers against Oklahoma State and has 287 in her career. That is second in school history and tied for second in Big 12 history. The Big 12 record is 392 by K-State's Laurie Koehn.
Texas has lost a school-record nine consecutive games. In Wednesday's 76-38 loss at Kansas, the Longhorns scored just 12 points in the first half - the fewest scored in an opening half in school history.
Texas was without its two leading scorers at Kansas. Sophomore forward Nneka Enemkpali and junior guard Chassidy Fussell did not accompany the team to Lawrence due to a violation of team rules. Coach Karen Aston declined to specify the violations and said the suspensions are for one game.