Big 12 Basketball

Oklahoma State vs. Miami NCAA Women’s Basketball Preview, Prediction

Oklahoma State forward Taylen Collins.

Here is everything you need to know about Oklahoma State and Miami in our Cowgirls vs. Hurricanes NCAA Tournament women’s basketball preview.

NCAA Tournament

Greenville Region 2 – First Round

No. 8 Oklahoma State (21-11) vs. No. 9 Miami (FL) (19-12), Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bloomington, IN


Game Info: 1 p.m. CT, Saturday, ESPN

How They Got Here

Oklahoma State and Miami were both selected as at-large berths to the NCAA Tournament.

Winner gets: A second-round game against the winner of the game between No. 1 Indiana and either No. 16 Monmouth or No. 16 Tennessee Tech

Projected starting lineups

Oklahoma State: G Naomie Alnatas, G Terryn Milton, G Claire Chastain, G Lexy Keys, F Taylen Collins

Miami: G Haley Cavinder, G Jasmyne Roberts, G Ja’Leah Williams, F Destiny Harden, F Lola Pendande

Player to watch

Oklahoma State

G Terryn Milton: Milton is one of four Cowgirls that has at least 1,000 career points, even though this is her first season with OSU. Before she transferred, she played at UT-Arlington, one of two Mavericks that transferred in after last season (Claire Chastain is the other). Milton has emerged as a player that Cowgirls coach Jacie Hoyt trusts in the clutch, as evidenced by getting Milton the ball in the final seconds of their come-from-behind, last-second win over West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals. Milton averaged 10.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists this season.    



G Haley Cavinder: Haley and her twin sister, Hanna, have done more for Name, Image and Likeness in college athletics than any two athletes outside of LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne. But one would be remiss to overlook Haley Cavinder’s game. She is Miami’s leading scorer, averaging 12.6 points per game in nearly 30 minutes of action. She and her sister transferred to Miami from Fresno State, where last year Haley was an All-Mountain West First-Team selection who set the NCAA single-season free-throw percentage record (97.3 percent) and averaged 19.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Haley was an All-ACC Second-Team selection this season.

Key storylines

Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State made a coaching change after last season, as the Cowgirls lured Hoyt, a former Kansas State assistant, from Kansas City to take over the program. She inherited a team that won nine games last season and had only a few holdovers. With those holdovers she blended nearly a dozen new players and turned them into a 20-win team that earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Cowgirls made waves along the way, beating Texas once, sweeping Baylor for the first time in nearly a decade and beating Iowa State to wrap up a six-game winning streak. The Cowgirls entered the Big 12 Tournament on a three-game losing streak but beat West Virginia in the quarterfinal on Milton’s last-second basket before falling to Texas in the semifinals. The good news for OSU is that Chastain was able to play in that game, and she’ll have had a week to rest to be healthier for the NCAA Tournament run.



Miami coach Katie Meier is the program’s winningest all-time coach and has taken the Hurricanes to 10 NCAA Tournaments, but she’s never gotten the Hurricanes out of the second round of the event. Miami started with two losses to begin ACC play, but then rattled off five straight wins, including back-to-back victories over ranked North Carolina and Virginia Tech. After that 5-2 start, the Hurricanes stumbled a bit down the stretch. Miami lost three of its finale five regular-season games, including one to ranked Duke. Miami finished in a tie for sixth in the ACC regular-season standings. In the ACC Tournament, after a first-round bye, the Hurricanes beat Boston College in the second round before falling to Virginia Tech in a rematch in the quarterfinals.


Oklahoma State 74, Miami 70. Miami has more experience but the Cowgirls have more offense and a deceptively good defense that should give the Hurricanes problems. Pendande, a 6-foot-4 forward, will be a matchup problem for OSU. But the guard play of Milton, Alnatas and company should help OSU prevail.      

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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