Notebook: Asberry's clutch play late seals game vs. WVU

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Ja'Mee Asberry shoots a layup over a West Virginia defender during Oklahoma State's 60-57 win against West Virginia in Gallagher-Iba Arena on February 8, 2020. 

For a few minutes, it felt like the same story was going to unfold once again. It felt as though it was all going down the same path. It felt the Cowgirls were going to lose another game because of fourth-quarter woes. 

Then Ja’Mee Asberry happened.

When the injury bug hit the Oklahoma State women’s basketball team (13-10 overall, 4-7 Big 12) in conference play, Asberry was counted on to be a primary scorer, but this time, she played a different role. 

With the Cowgirls down one, Natasha Mack swatted away a shot, got the rebound and slung the ball down the court to Asberry who was charging on the break. Asberry caught the ball, took a few dribbles and finished the layup through contact for a two-point OSU lead.

The building then got loud.

The Cowgirls needed a momentum shift, and they got it. Asberry hit the layup, and the Cowgirls were able to close out the game.

About 20 seconds later, Asberry made another huge play grabbing a rebound and hitting two free throws to seal the game.

 

Lauren Fields’ impact

In the post-game conference, coach Jim Littell was ecstatic with the performance of Lauren Fields. The freshman guard only shot 1-for-5 from the field, but she made an impact in other ways.

Fields was tremendous on defense, she had two steals and was hounding ball handlers all night long. She finished with a rating of plus-11, highest on the team.

But the thing that won’t shot up on a stat sheet is her effort. She played hard, ripped balls out and earned her minutes.

“(Fields) just hustled and played hard, and when we were really, really bad in the first half, I thought Lau sparked us to get us to the 24-23 point at halftime,” Littell said.

 

Natasha Mack’s big game

When Mack missed her first game of the season - ironically against this same WVU team (14-7, 4-6) - the Cowgirls managed to pull a two-point victory on the road. This time, they had Mack back — and she was in full force.

The double-double machine put up 23 points and 15 rebounds while continuing to be a defensive stalwart. Mack swatted away a game-high seven shots and had three steals.

While the Cowgirls won their last contest against WVU without Mack, they needed her presence today.

“She was just tremendous all night long. Twenty-three, 15 and seven blocks, and she just protected the rim all night long,” Littell said. “And besides the seven blocks, there was probably five or six other shots that she altered inside.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com