LAWRENCE, KANSAS — Some people have karate skills, others have bow hunting skills or even computer hacking skills. Lakota Beattyhas basketball skills. The Anadarko, Oklahoma native took her talents to Oklahoma State in 2013 and has been looking for her opportunity.
Before arriving in Stillwater, Beatty had an impressive career at Anadarko High School. She was a two-time Oklahoma High School State Champion and received the Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year title her senior season. Beatty is just one of five Native Americans girls to ever earn the award (Angel Goodrich, 2007, Alyssa Brewer, 2008, Kevi Luper, 2009, Chelsea Dungee 2014) in Oklahoma.
After a great high school career, Beatty did not see the floor as often in her first year at Oklahoma State, a year ago. Beatty only played in 11 games in her 2013-14 campaign, but did get some time in the Cowgirls NCAA Sweet Sixteen matchup against Notre Dame.
The 2014-15 appeared to be more of the same for Beatty, only seeing limited minutes, until everything changed. On January 17th, Guard Brittany Atkins suffered a season-ending meniscus tear, which opened a door for Beatty. A few games later, Beatty got her chance to start on the road at Kansas State. Beatty embraced the moment and scored 14 points in 37 minutes for the Cowgirls. Beatty has started every game since then.
On Saturday, the 5”8 sophomore traveled to Lawrence with her team, looking to steal a conference road victory. Beatty struggled, but a lot of it was the nerves of playing at historic Allen Fieldhouse, she said, “I was very nervous, but you just gotta play through it. I did what I can and got a sub in for me.” Despite a self described sub-par performance from Beatty, Oklahoma State railed to beat Kansas on the road.
For Beatty and company, it does not get any easier in the Big 12 Conference. Beatty spoke about the battles of the Big 12 and said, “You just gotta fight, can’t quit, anything can happen. We’re just working hard every day.”
While her basketball skills, have taken her along way, Beatty says it is beyond basketball that drives her. To get to where she is today, Beatty attributes it to her Native American background and her faith in God. While her enrollment is with the Caddo Tribe, Beatty has connections by blood with the Lakota and Gros Ventre Tribes. Beatty said her mom doesn’t let her forget it either, “Before seasons, my mom always smudges me.” Smudging is something used to purify and bless people. During games, Beatty’s faith is also reflected on one of her arms. Her arm reads, “I AM SECOND”. To this day, Beatty is also an active member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes as well, now at Oklahoma State.
GAME RECAP February, 7th, Oklahoma State 65 vs Kansas 57
In a conference that thrives on the mentality of “One True Champion”, there’s bound to be parity. On Saturday night, that parity was on full display as Oklahoma State and Kansas of the Big 12 Conference would look to battle for seeding in the Big 12 Tournament.
After a strong non-conference campaign, Oklahoma State (13-8, 3-7 Big 12) had struggled as of late, battling injuries. Starting Sophomore Guard Brittany Atkins suffered a season-ending meniscus tear earlier in the year against West Virginia, which forced Sophomore Guard Lakota Beatty to make her third career start Saturday, against Kansas. On the other side, Kansas (13-10, 4-6 Big 12) would be looking to build off of its’ recent momentum, winning four out of their last five games going into Saturday night’s contest.
In half number one, the Jayhawks came out firing, shooting 80% in the first 8:46 minutes of the game. 6”3 Center Chelsea Gardner was in a league of her own in the first, dominating inside with 12 points and 5 rebounds. Kansas ended the first shooting 53% from the field. Guards Lauren Gardner and Natalie Knight accounted for 7 points each in the first.
For Oklahoma State, it took a while for the pistols to start firing. The Cowgirls found themselves down 23-8 at the 10:51 mark, but they would catch on quickly. LaShawn Jones came off the bench for Oklahoma State to end the Kansas run, accounting for a team-high 8 points in the 1st. Liz Donohoe and Roshunda Johnson also contributed with 7 points, while Lakota Beatty was held scoreless in the first. In the last 4:33 of the 1st, Oklahoma State outscored Kansas 15-6, to make it a two-point game at the break. Kansas led at halftime 36-34.
Unlike the first half, Oklahoma State came out hot, taking their first lead of the game at the 16:29 mark. The Cowgirls shot 43% in the 2nd and held Kansas to just 28% from field goal range. Oklahoma State also dominated the boards in the 2nd, outrebounding Kansas 25-14.
While the Jayhawks dominated the 1st half, never giving up the lead, the 2nd half would be a different story. The 2nd half saw five lead changes and four ties. Late in the game, Oklahoma State switched to a 2-3 zone, which virtually shut down the Kansas offense. In the final 5:06 minutes, Kansas was victim of a 10-3 run to close the game. Oklahoma State defeated Kansas, by a final score of 65-57.
For Oklahoma State, they had an impressive night shooting, as they shot 42% from the field. The Cowgirls registered four players in double figures with 16 points from Brittney Martin and Roshunda Johnson, Liz Donohoe with 13 and LaShawn Jones with 12 points. Guard Lakota Beatty after the game said, “It was amazing. Our team should really good fight, we didn’t give up, we just kept pushing no matter how far we got down.”
With shooting just 28% from the field and scoring 21 points in the 2nd, Kansas Coach Bonnie Hendrickson credited the loss to shooting, “We shot the ball poorly in the 2nd half and only had two offensive rebounds. From that stand point, those numbers were a big part (of the loss).” Chelsea Gardner led Kansas in scoring with 18 points, while Lauren Aldridge accounted for 14 points and Asia Boyd was also in double figures with 11 points.
Both teams move to 4-7 in the Big 12 race and will look to continue the battle for the Big 12, with tough matchups coming up. Kansas welcomes West Virginia and Texas to Lawrence next week. Oklahoma State play Texas as well at home and will also battle with Iowa State in Stillwater.
Editor’s Note: This article originally was published by NDNSports.com Used with permission. All rights reserved.