STILLWATER — Make it three heartbreakers in less than 24 hours for Oklahoma State.
After football's Cotton Bowl loss and a men's basketball defeat to Kansas State, the previously undefeated Cowgirls suffered a nail-biting failure of their own Saturday in Gallagher-Iba Arena despite leading for the vast majority of the game.
West Virginia (13-1, 2-0) used a 20-4 run in the final six minutes to cap a 71-67 comeback victory.
Some would say OSU's thirteenth game proved extremely unlucky, as the Cowgirls (12-1, 1-1) earned a 45-34 rebounding advantage and still lost.
But those numbers are deceiving.
WVU won the defensive rebounding battle 26-23, and Mountaineers coach Mike Carey said OSU's tendency to crash the offensive glass with four players allowed his team to get out on fast breaks, where it outscored the Cowgirls 16-4.
And it's not like the OSU didn't have its chances.
The team shot 31.7 percent and went 1-of-7 from the 3-point line in the second half.
The Cowgirls also shot an unspectacular 21-of-32 from the free-throw line.
“This is one that was right there for the taking, and we let it get away,” OSU coach Jim Littell said. “You just don't allow good teams to hang around, and that's what we did.”