Ja’Mee Asberry sped down the court as the crowd at Gallagher-Iba Arena rose to their feet.
Oklahoma State trailed by one with under 30 seconds remaining, and the redshirt sophomore needed to make a play.
She drove down the right side of the lane and glided the ball into the goal as West Virginia’s Blessing Ejiofor fouled her.
The fans in the stands exploded in excitement as Asberry converted the three-point play at the free throw line to give OSU the two-point advantage.
The Cowgirls held on to the lead the rest of the way and toppled the Mountaineers 60-57 on Saturday afternoon.
The victory breaks OSU’s four-game losing streak as well as a four-game drought at home. OSU coach Jim Littell said the victory was much needed for his team.
“We’ve gone through some tough stretches,” Littell said. “We’ve had some injuries and during that stretch we’ve lost games by two, one, three, five here. We just didn’t know how to finish some games out. I was happy for our kids mainly that they could finish a game out.”
Natasha Mack showed out in her first game back in Stillwater after missing three games due to injury, posting 23 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks. Vivian Gray added 14 points, and Asberry had 11 including five in the last minute.
Mack last played at home on Jan. 19, and she said she was glad to get to play again in front of the Cowgirl fans.
“Honestly, it felt amazing,” Mack said. “The crowd gave me so much energy, and I loved it.”
For the visitors, Kysre Gondrezick paced WVU with 13 points and Kari Niblack chipped in 12.
The Cowgirls (13-10 overall, 4-7 Big 12 Conference) started slowly, and the Mountaineers jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead in the first two minutes. From there, OSU found its footing but trailed 11-8 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter maintained its competitiveness, but the Cowgirls’ poor foul shooting prevented them from breaking the game open. They missed their first nine free throws, a factor that allowed WVU (14-7, 4-6) to take a slim 24-23 lead into the half.
Littell said he didn’t talk to his players about free throws at the half, as he said knew that they already knew what they needed to do to fix it.
“Those kids don’t want to step up and miss free throws,” Littell said. “... I told them after the game that they finished the fourth quarter eight for nine. They stepped up and made free throws when it counted.”
The third quarter continued the back-and-forth battle. OSU headed into the fourth quarter down by two, a similar deficit to its previous four losses at home. This game, though, was different.
Mack’s dominating performance, coupled with Asberry’s late-game playmaking skills, allowed for the Cowgirls to get back in the win column.
Littell said that his team made mistakes in some areas, but his father told him something that applied on Saturday.
“My dad told me one time don’t grade ‘em just count ‘em,” Littell said. “... Not real sure how it turned out the way that it did at the end but our kids kept fighting.”