Hayden Priddy has no regrets, and why would she?
The former Piedmont prep star signed with Southwestern Oklahoma State University three years ago and she’s spent the last three seasons making that a famously successful decision for both sides.
Now in her third season at SWOSU, Priddy has already etched her name into the program’s history books by becoming just the 12th 1,000-point scorer in program history.
“I was coming home on Saturday with my parents, I told them that I knew SWOSU was the right place for me when I signed,” she said. “Three years later, I wouldn’t change anything about that decision.”
Priddy put in her 1,00th career point in a game at Oklahoma Baptist Jan. 20. At the time, Priddy didn’t have a chance to celebrate the accomplishment.
“I kind of knew I had done it,” she said. “But we were losing so I was more focused on making sure we won the game.”
Priddy finished with 20 points as SWOSU came from behind to beat OBU 91-78. Since then, she’s been inundated with congratulations via social media and through text messages and phone calls.
“I think that’s probably help it all set in a little for me,” she said.
After turning in solid freshman and sophomore seasons, Priddy has taken her game to another level as a junior. She’s shooting a career-high 43 percent from 3-point range, 89 percent from the free throw line while scoring 15.4 points per game, good for second on the team.
“My coaches have given me confidence just to go out and play my game,” she said.
Sometimes that means scoring – Priddy scored 33 points in a win over Northwestern Oklahoma State Jan. 15, – and other times it means finding her teammates for shots – Priddy had 11 assists in a win over Arkansas Tech Nov. 30.
“Whenever I came in as a freshman, I was more of a shooter,” she said. “Now I think I’m more of a true point guard that can have my role change from game to game.”
Priddy has teamed with Bartlesville product Hailey Tucker, who leads SWOSU in scoring with 20.4 points per game and is also in the school’s 1,000-point club, to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 19-1 record and a 14-0 mark in Great American Conference play this season.
The duo makes up a strong scoring punch, but Priddy says SWOSU’s depth of options on offense has led to the Lady Bulldogs’ winning ways.
“It’s not just Hailey and I,” she said. “We have so many other girls that can score, too. We have the best guards in the conference.”
Tyra Aska and Bethany Franks each average double figures with Seiling’s Taylor Hedrick putting in nine a game. That kind of offensive ability has SWOSU ranked ninth and in position to make the national tournament for the first time in three seasons.
“We need to do whatever it takes to keep winning games down the stretch,” Priddy said.
With nine conference games left, the Bulldogs have a target on their backs.
“Everybody wants to be the team to give us our first loss,” Priddy said.
SWOSU hosts GAC rival Arkansas Tech Saturday morning at 11.