STILLWATER, Okla. -- To say this season was an emotional roller-coaster for the OSU Cowgirls would be an understatement.
Just 135 days ago, the team lost its head coach, Kurt Budke, and assistant, Miranda Serna, in a plane crash. Now, they end that same season with a championship.
The Cowgirls defeated James Madison Saturday afternoon in Stillwater 75-68, winning the program's first-ever WNIT Championship.
The emotion inside Gallagher-Iba Arena was palpable, and forward Toni Young took that energy and responded with a huge game. She scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Two other Cowgirls notched double-doubles: freshman Liz Donohoe had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Tiffany Bias added 17 points and 11 assists.
But this game was about more than stats and baskets. It was about playing for the memory of coaches Budke and Serna, and for the Budke family that cheers them on from the stands at each home game.
The win provided a fitting end to a tough season - an outpouring of emotion on the GIA court. But this time, the players and coaches were crying tears of joy.