Sports, Women's Basketball, WVU Sports

Terryn Milton hits buzzer-beater to send Oklahoma State past WVU in Big 12 tournament

MORGANTOWN — The madness that comes with March hit the WVU women’s basketball team in the worst-possible manner.

Oklahoma State guard Terryn Milton’s last-second drive to the basket just barely went in with 0.1 seconds remaining Friday to give the Cowgirls a come-from-behind 62-61 victory in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.

Milton, who finished with 12 points and five rebounds, helped Oklahoma State erase a 53-40 deficit late in the third quarter, as OSU outscored the Mountaineers 20-8 in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.

Milton’s shot was the only lead Oklahoma State held in the second half, which mattered little to the Cowgirls (21-10), who advanced to Saturday’s semifinals at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.

As for the Mountaineers (19-11), they remain very much on the NCAA-tournament bubble in Dawn Plitzuweit’s first season as head coach, and will have to wait for Sunday’s selection show to learn their postseason fate.


“It was certainly a heartbreaking loss for our young ladies,” Plitzuweit said. “I thought our effort and intensity was good, but we just couldn’t get any stops down the stretch, and that really hurt us.”

While Milton’s shot was the dagger, WVU’s lack of offense in the final quarter was the culprit of its demise.

The Mountaineers were held to just three baskets over the final 10 minutes, as Oklahoma State chipped away at the lead.

“We can’t go back and change anything,” WVU guard J.J. Quinerly said. “I’m sure everybody wants to.”

Up until that point, WVU’s offense came through guards Madisen Smith and Quinerly, who combined for 41 points and seven 3-pointers.

But Quinerly twisted her right ankle midway through the second quarter and basically limped her way through the rest of the game.

She damaged it again with 2:25 left in the game and had to be carried off the court by trainers.

Meanwhile, Smith made just one 3-point basket in the fourth quarter — it came with 2:01 remaining that gave WVU a 61-57 lead — as Oklahoma State held WVU to just 23% shooting in the final quarter.

Oklahoma State forward Taylen Collins — she finished with 15 boards — grabbed the rebound of WVU’s final miss with 13.3 seconds remaining and called timeout.

It was then up to Milton.

The fifth-year senior dribbled off some time near midcourt before attacking to her right side.

WVU had a foul to give, but Plitzuweit said the decision was made not to give it.

“It’s something, I think, you can go back and play it a million different ways,” she said. “The hard part is, all of a sudden, you’re trying to go foul and you don’t get it, now it’s a clean look at the basket. This one was a contested shot.”

Once Milton got below the foul line, she dribbled the ball behind her back and changed directions to her left.

Her shot went up just over the outstretched arms of WVU defenders Danni Nichols and Isis Beh.

The ball bounced around the rim, and for just a moment, appeared like it was going to fall off the front end, before finally creeping back in and through the net for the win.

“I was hoping it was going to fall out,” Quinerly said. “I think we played hard otherwise. I just hope we get to play in the NCAAs.”

All WVU could do with the time remaining was throw the ball toward the rim and hope for a miracle tip-in that never developed.

Naomie Alnatas scored eight of her 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead the charge for Oklahoma State.

Smith added two assists and a steal to go with her 23 points. Quinerly had four assists, four rebounds and three steals to go with her 18 points.

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