STILLWATER, Okla. — Christal Caldwell sank a career-high five 3-pointers on her way to 21 points and the West Virginia women dealt No. 19 Oklahoma State a rare home loss, 67-61 on Tuesday night.
The Mountaineers made a season-best nine 3s overall and racked up 16 steals in handing the Cowgirls only their fifth loss in 77 games in Stillwater. But after leading by 13 in the second half, West Virginia’s cushion was down to two points in the final minute when the Caldwell sank a midrange jumper over an OSU triple-team.
“Christal has been our most consistent player all year and plays extremely hard,” said WVU coach Mike Carey. “The big bucket down the stretch was a big shot for us.”
Averee Fields also scored 19 points and Linda Stepney converted 2-of-4 free throws to help WVU (12-8, 4-5 Big 12) end a string of late collapses in league play. The Cowgirls (15-4, 4-4) got 15 points each from Tiffany Bias and Tony Young.
“To get this win on the road is big for us,” Carey said. “We’ve had about four of these in the Big 12, having the lead at halftime and then losing the lead with under four minutes. We almost did it, but I give our girls a lot of credit. We hung in there.”
“I thought Oklahoma State has a great team. I really felt watching tape … they have the second-most talent (in the Big 12) next to Baylor.”
The Mountaineers took a 9-0 run into halftime, forcing five OSU turnovers to lead 37-29.
“To get this win on the road is big for us. We’ve had about four of these in the Big 12, having the lead at halftime and then losing the lead with under four minutes.” — WVU women’s coach Mike Carey
WVU shot a season-best 45 percent (9-20) from beyond the 3-point line, while limiting Oklahoma State to 1-of-7. Oklahoma State entered the game averaging six 3s per game. Bias entered the game leading the Big 12 in assists and was limited to only four against 11 turnovers.
“We put a lot of pressure on Bias,” Carey said. “She had a lot of pressure the whole game. She is one of the best point guards in the country, so we knew we had to make her do something that she’s not comfortable doing.”
WVU shot 38.5 percent from the field, while OSU made 42.2 percent, but the Mountaineers owned a 35-29 rebounding edge behind Caldwell’s seven. Young led the Cowgirls with nine boards.
The Mountaineers return home for a 1 p.m. “Play 4 Kay” game against Oklahoma on Sunday. The women’s basketball team will wear pink uniforms and fans are encouraged to pack the house in pink to support breast cancer awareness.
Two free tickets to the game will be inserted into the Saturday edition of the Dominion Post newspaper.