Thursday, March 29, 2012

WNIT: Getting to know Oklahoma State

So, exactly what is JMU getting itself into when the Dukes travel to Stillwater, Okla. to take on Oklahoma State in Saturday's WNIT title game?

Beats us. Fortunately, Jessica Lantz of the website Swish Appeal has done an excellent job chronicling the Cowgirls' postseason run, including her latest post on Wednesday' 73-57 semifinal round victory over San Diego. Oklahoma State drew 3,484 fans to Gallagher-Iba Arena for that game, and Cowgirls coach Jim Littell wasted no time in beating the drums for a much larger gathering on Championship Saturday.

"Let's go fill the thing! People are getting excited about it," Littell said. "I don't know what's a realistic number. We're very appreciative of the people that are here. I hope it continues to grow. This is the middle of the week, you'd think that you'd have a great crowd on Saturday."

San Diego coach Cindy Fisher said that even at 3,400-plus, Oklahoma State's fans make more than enough noise to be disruptive.

"I thought the crowd was phenomenal today," said Fisher, a former assistant at Old Dominion. "It was hard for (my team) to hear my calls and hard for them to hear (point guard) Dominique (Conners') calls and we missed assignments a few times."

For the record, JMU (29-7) drew 4,008 for Wednesday's 74-71 semifinal victory over Syracuse. We're not completely sure how the WNIT bidding process works, but we suspect the Dukes may have had a strong case for hosting the final if their Convocation Center were available. The building is being used for a home and garden show this weekend. The Dukes still bid to host the title game, but would have had to play at Eastern Mennonite University, where the capacity is just 1,800.

But hey, if someone offered you six postseason games and said you could play five of them at home, you'd be crazy to complain about the sixth, right? We suspect the Dukes are too stoked about playing for the WNIT title to worry about anything except bringing that title back to Harrisonburg.


  1. JMU and OKST are quite similar in the style they play. Both teams like to play transition offense, both have a 3 point threat, both have a good post player. I think JMU has a better defense, but OKST may have a better offense. Should make for an interesting game in which the Dukes come out with the win.

  2. Tall order for the Dukes - OSU is a heavy duty Big 12 tested team playing at home with all kinds of emotions swirling about.

    Great JMU season whatever occurs.

  3. I think you could say the same with the other teams that came to the convo, that it was a tall order for JMU. The one thing that the convo and playing 4 very good acc/be teams has done, is prepare them for the possible noise at OKST and for the kind of team they will be playing. I really do think this puts them in a very good position to win the game. Really wish the game was in Harrisonburg though.

  4. Good luck JMU...Mason Mom