West Virginia snaps losing streak, upsets No. 19 Oklahoma State 67-61
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 07:01
After failing to do so in two consecutive losses, the West Virginia women’s basketball team held on to a halftime lead and cashed in a 67-61 victory on the road at No. 19 Oklahoma State Tuesday night.
A 37-29 advantage at halftime left the Mountaineers feeling confident heading into halftime, and West Virginia was able to extend its lead to 13 points with 12:21 remaining in the game.
The Cowgirls were able to close the deficit to only two points with 1:55 left in regulation, but a Christal Caldwell jump shot pushed the lead to four points with a minute to play, and the Mountaineers didn’t look back.
Caldwell, a redshirt junior guard, led all players in scoring with 21 points. Sophomore forward Avree Fields was the only other player to notch double-digit scoring for the Mountaineers, finishing with a career-high 19 points.
Oklahoma State had four players finish with more than 10 points but still lost. Prior to last night, the Cowgirls had won 24 consecutive matchups with four players finishing with double-figure scoring.
The Mountaineers (12-8, 4-5), avoided a four-game skid by winning in one of the country’s most hostile environments; West Virginia’s win is just the fifth victory in 77 home games for Oklahoma State.
West Virginia connected on 75 percent of free-throw attempts – a statistic that proved vital down the stretch.
After Caldwell’s jumper extended the lead to four points, sophomore guard Linda Stepney sealed the game with a pair of clutch free-throws down the stretch.
Oklahoma State junior guard Tiffany Bias led the country in assists heading into last night’s game, averaging more than seven per contest. Bias was limited to four assists and committed 11 of Oklahoma State’s 22 turnovers.
The Mountaineers were equally careless with the ball, committing 22 turnovers of their own in the game. However, West Virginia was able to make more out of the Cowgirls’ missteps, holding a 27-22 advantage on points from turnovers.
West Virginia was able to grab the rebounding edge 35-29, with Caldwell’s seven rebounds pacing the Mountaineers. Redshirt senior center Ayana Dunning, the team’s leading rebounder, finished with 8 points and four rebounds.
Oklahoma State’s largest lead of the game was one point – a difference the Cowgirls achieved only 26 seconds into the game.
The Cowgirls also had a better shooting night than the Mountaineers, but West Virginia benefited from a poor effort from Oklahoma State beyond the arc.
West Virginia connected on 9-of-24 field goals, including 3-of-5 from deep. Oklahoma State was unable to cash in on four 3-point tries but did make 10-of-21 shots from the field.
The Mountaineers defense buckled down in the final two minutes of the game and didn’t allow a Cowgirl field goal past the 1:55 mark.
Midway through conference play, the Mountaineers are one win away from reaching a .500 record in Big 12 contests. West Virginia won’t play again until Sunday when the Mountaineers host No. 20 Oklahoma.