OSU and Miami women’s coaches speak ahead of NCAA Tournament game

The Associated Press - March 18, 2023 12:42 pm

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Oklahoma State could have come to Bloomington playing the numbers game.

With a first-year coach and a completely revamped roster, the team was picked to finish ninth in the Big 12. Instead, following a fourth-place finish, they wound up in Bloomington as the No. 8 seed paired against ninth-seeded Miami in Saturday’s second game.

Oklahoma State has lost four of five, but isn’t worried.

“Whatever happened before, at this point, it doesn’t matter,” said guard Naomie Alnatas, who followed coach Jacie Hoyt from Kansas City to Oklahoma State. “We want to win, and if it has nothing to do with winning, guess what? It doesn’t matter.”

The Hurricanes (19-12) also struggled late this season — and historically in NCAA play. They’ve lost four of their last seven, are 5-8 away from their home court and are 3-6 since in the NCAA Tournament since 2015.

Still, they are confident they can make it out of the first round.

“What we learned last year was that these eight-nine games are the juiciest, best games of the tournament,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “They are fun. Both teams are hungry. We’ve been in these games for two months, it’s another one of those games.”

 

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