The West Virginia women’s basketball team completed a miraculous comeback in the final moments of its matchup with Kansas State, to beat the Wildcats 58-56 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Conference Tournament on Friday night.
With just 35 seconds remaining in the contest, the Mountaineers were down by five points and seemingly eliminated from the tournament.
From there, Kirsten Deans scored an unprecedented seven points to close out the remainder of the game in order to ensure the win for West Virginia (20-5, 13-5 Big 12).
Christianna Carr converted one of two free throws for Kansas State (9-18, 3-15 Big 12) with 43 seconds left to give the Wildcats the five-point lead. Deans then made a quick layup, stole the ball from Carr, made a three-pointer to cut the lead to just two, picked off a pass from Emilee Ebert, and converted it into a layup with three seconds left.
While Deans came up clutch in the end, she only had four points before the late-game heroics. It was Kysre Gondrezick who kept the Mountaineers in the game with 26 points on a rough shooting night for both squads.
West Virginia got off to a hot start at the beginning of the game, getting off to a 13-3 lead in the first three minutes of the game through Gondrezick, Deans and Kari Niblack. The Wildcats then came storming back with a 5-0 run through Ebert and the score was 17-14 after one quarter.
The second period was all Kansas State, as it went on a 12-0 run to open up a seven-point lead on West Virginia. The Mountaineers only scored five points in the second quarter and they trailed 27-22 going into halftime.
Esmery Martinez and Gondrezick got West Virginia off to a strong start in the second half as the Mountaineers tied the game at 32-32 with five minutes left in the third quarter. Going into the fourth quarter, Kansas State was up 41-40.
Kansas State outscored West Virginia by six points in nine minutes of the final quarter. From there, the madness ensued, and it was the Mountaineers who prevailed.
Much like the first game of the season between the teams, West Virginia needed momentum and was able to generate turnovers when it needed them most. The Mountaineers generated four turnovers in the last two minutes of the game.
Only two Mountaineers scored in double-digits with Gondrezick leading all scorers with 26 points. Deans finished with an impactful 11 points. As a team, West Virginia shot 23-of-64 (36%) from the field and 5-of-16 (31%) from three-point range.
With the win, West Virginia moves on to play the winner of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. WVU will play on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Fans can watch the game via Big 12 Now on ESPN+.