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March Madness: Miami completes 17-point comeback as Oklahoma State misses buzzer-beater

No. 9 Miami completed one of the largest comebacks in women’s NCAA tournament history with a 62-61 win over No. 8 Oklahoma State in the Greenville 2 region on Saturday as the Cowgirls missed a game-winning shot at the buzzer.

Oklahoma State trailed by five points with less than a minute left and had a chance to win with five seconds to go after a seemingly quick five-second call against Miami as the Hurricanes were attempting to inbound the ball. Oklahoma State’s Naomie Alnatas drove to the lane as time was expiring but her shot off the glass bounced off the rim.

Miami outscored Oklahoma State by 13 points in the third quarter after trailing 37-20 at halftime. The Hurricanes put up 20 points in the third quarter and held Oklahoma State to seven to cut the lead to 44-40 before the start of the fourth. Miami then took the lead with just under nine minutes remaining on Destiny Harden’s jumper and never trailed the rest of the way.

Miami's Haley Cavinder (14) grabs a rebound against Oklahoma State's Naomie Alnatas (3) during the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the women's NCAA Tournament Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Haley Cavinder and Miami will play Indiana in the second round of the NCAA tournament. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The 17-point deficit Miami overcame is tied for the fifth-biggest comeback in NCAA women’s tournament history. Oklahoma State controlled the first half but went cold in the second half. The Cowgirls shot less than 40% from the field and were just 14-of-35 from inside the 3-point line.

Yet they still had a chance to win the game after Anna Gret Asi banked in a corner 3 with five seconds to go to cut Miami’s lead to one. Miami had the ball at midcourt following a timeout and didn’t get much leeway with the five-second call. The official on the sideline blew his whistle to signal the ball was ready to play before the ball was in Miami’s hands to inbound it.

The final two minutes of the game were also a slog. Officials went to the sidelines for replay reviews no fewer than five times.

Haley Cavinder led Miami with 16 points and her free throw with eight seconds left to give Miami a four-point lead ended up being the winning margin. The Hurricanes will play Indiana on Monday in the second round of the NCAA tournament while OSU finishes the season at 21-12.