The Dallas Morning News

Hurricanes rally to beat Cowgirls

Cavinder scores 12 in second half to lead 17-point comeback win


BLOOMINGTO­N, Ind. — When Miami coach Katie Meier reached the locker room at halftime Saturday, her players were already discussing solutions.

When they returned for the postgame celebratio­n, Meier was teary-eyed and reflective.

In 22 seasons as a head coach, she hadn’t been around many victories as satisfying — or as shocking — as this one.

Haley Cavinder scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half and made what proved to be the decisive free throw with 8.9 seconds left to complete a 17-point second-half comeback and send Miami into the second round of the women’s tournament with a 62-61 victory over eighth-seeded Oklahoma State. It matched the fifth-largest comeback in NCAA Tournament history.

“I wanted to remind them like when life gets hard and you’re going through some stuff and it doesn’t look really good, I want you to remember this moment,” Meier said. “I really want you to look at your teammates and remember what it took for you guys to make the comeback you did.”

The back-and-forth stretch run — a missed free throw with 8.9 seconds left followed by Anna Gret Asi’s 3-pointer to make it a one-point game before a 5second call on Miami’s ensuing inbound play gave Oklahoma State one more chance — tested the nerves and emotions of everyone. But it wasn’t actually over until Naomie Alnatas’ 10-foot runner rolled off the rim at the buzzer, leaving the sixth-year guard and her teammates seated on the court, lamenting the collapse.

Asi led the Cowgirls (21-16) with 16 points and four 3s. Alnatas had 10 points, and Taylen Collins grabbed 16 rebounds.

Cavinder wound up with eight rebounds and six assists for Miami.

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