NORMAN — Oklahoma already knows it’s in the postseason, so that will not be on the players’ minds when they face Iowa State tonight in their final game of the regular season.
However, the Sooners still have something to play for at the Cyclone Sports Complex in Ames, Iowa. They currently sit in sixth place, a half game behind Kansas, which has already wrapped up its conference schedule. A win over the Cyclones would elevate OU to the fifth seed in next week’s Big 12 tournament in San Antonio.
“I think it’s very important,” OU senior Renae Cuellar said. “Obviously, with that mindset, and it depends on who you play, we have the potential to end in the best situation we could, which is to end in fifth place. I think it makes for a much more interesting situation.”
However, the Sooners (6-8-4, 2-3-2 Big 12) are coming off a 2-0 loss to regular season conference champion West Virginia. Yet, first-year coach Matt Potter likes the attitude of his team as it heads into the regular season finale.
“It’s been bright and energetic,” Potter said. “That’s obviously a good sign as we head into the last regular season game and as we look forward to next weekend at the Big 12 tournament. I think the brightness and the energy is because they have the kind of mindset that we know where we are going and can plot out our destiny. So it’s up to us to perform.”
The Cyclones (10-9, 1-6 Big 12) are last in the Big 12. It’s a team the Sooners shouldn’t have a problem with.
“That’s the beauty of the game,” Potter said. “Every game deserves your best effort.”
However, that hasn’t stopped players like Katharine Nutman from looking slightly ahead.
“We want a good performance, first and foremost,” Nutman said. “We are looking for a win to finish out the regular season the way we need to and get some momentum going into the Big 12 tournament. We just want to take it to them. That is important, to finish as high as we can because that’s what our potential allows us to do, and because we want the best draw in the tournament.”