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No. 17 Mountaineers Beat Oklahoma St. 59-50 to advance to Big 12 Title Game

Esmery Martinez scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and the No. 17 Mountaineers built a strong enough lead to outlast Oklahoma State 59-50 on Saturday to move on to the Big 12 Tournament championship game against Baylor.

Kysre Gondrezick, who scored 26 points against the Wildcats on Friday, struggled to find some consistency in her shooting but still added 17 points on 6 of 16 from the floor, and Kirsten Deans scored 11 points for the Mountaineers.

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West Virginia (21-5) was coming off a buzzer-beating win over the Wildcats where they came back from seven down with just a minute to go to move on to today’s game against Oklahoma State.

It was a game that saw the Mountaineers build a sizable lead before going completely ice cold in the fourth quarter. They were only able to gather a total of seven points in the final frame of play, but played well enough early to hold off Natasha Mack and the Cowgirls.

Mack scored 19 points and pulled in nine rebounds and Ja’Mee Asberry added 14 points for Oklahoma State (18-8).

Much like the game against K-State, the Mountaineers had a dogfight on their hands. Gondrezick splashed in two free throws in the first to put them up 13-5 early. But Asberry and Mack bounced the Cowgirls back into it with a couple baskets of their own, and two free throws from Asberry marked them three down at 18-15 to end the first quarter.

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Fields and Mack fired off two quick layups for the Cowgirls to open the second and give them the lead at 19-18. That’s when Gondrezick and Martinez locked in for the Mountaineers.

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The two West Virginia players popped off an 11-2 run, that was capped by a Martinez three and layup to give them a 29-21 lead at halftime.

Martinez and the Mountaineers laid on the gas pedal to begin the latter half of play. Martinez scored ten points in the third, including a jumper with :05 seconds remaining to give West Virginia their largest lead at 52-35.

An Asberry three, and Fields free throws and jumper stormed the Cowgirls back into the game putting them only six down with 5:07 to play. But Gondrezick and Deans pulled through for the Mountaineers. Gondrezick netted two free throws, followed by a buried three-point shot by Deans to put them back up by 11 and sealed the Cowgirls fate.

The Mountaineers are moving on to face Baylor in the Big 12 Championship game tomorrow. 

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