March 31, 2012
The Oklahoma State women's basketball team honored former head coach Kurt Budke the best way they knew how. On Saturday, in front of a season-high 6,157 fans in Stillwater, the Cowgirls defeated JMU 75-68 to claim the Postseason WNIT national championship.
Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna, who both died Nov. 17 in a small plane crash, were on the minds of many at the game. Players, fans, and head coach Jim Littell watched Saturday as Budke's wife, Shelley, was the last to climb the ladder to cut down the OSU nets.
The team battled JMU throughout the entire game. JMU (29-8) led 13-12 early in the first half before Oklahoma State (22-12) rattled off 11 straight points to turn the tide. JMU stayed within reach, though, in part because of Tarik Hislop's 16 points and 13 from Nikki Newman and 10 from Lauren Whitehurst.
Oklahoma State's defense held JMU to 35.4 percent shooting for the game. On the offensive side, the Cowgirls shot 48.3 percent and were led by MVP Toni Young, who had 25 points and nine rebounds.
Joining Young on the All-Tournament team was teammate Liz Donohoe, who had her fifth straight double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Also named to the all-tournament team were JMU's Kirby Burkholder and Hislop, as well as Kayla Alexander of Syracuse and Dominique Conners of San Diego.