First-Time Bedlam Participants Lead Cowboys

Darrell Williams, Jean-Paul Olukemi and Markel Brown had been warned what to expect as they prepared to play Saturday in their first Bedlam basketball game. The three Oklahoma State players played like Bedlam veterans as they helped the Cowboys rally from a 15-point, first-half deficit for an 81-75 victory over Oklahoma at Gallagher-Iba Arena in a much needed win for Travis Ford's squad.

The Bedlam win allows the Cowboys to improve to 16-7 overall and 4-5 in Big 12 play with road games at Nebraska (next Saturday) and Texas (Feb. 16) next on the schedule. A loss would have dropped the Cowboys to 3-6 in conference play and would have been disastrous with trips to Lincoln, Neb., and Austin, Texas in the next 10 days.

Oklahoma, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped, saw its record drop to 12-10 overall and 4-4 in the Big 12.

"It was a great Bedlam game. I guess it's great because we won, I probably wouldn't say that (if we lost), but I guess it was typical of when Oklahoma State and Oklahoma get together," said Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford.

Olukemi led all scorers with 19 points despite shooting 4 of 14 from the field, Williams added a career-high 18 points, 12 rebounds and three steals (while playing just 19 minutes), and Brown scored all of his 10 points in the second half – all while playing in the first ever Bedlam games. Keiton Page also contributed 18 points for the Cowboys.

The Cowboys made 36 of 44 free throws (82 percent), including 23 in a row at one stretch in the game. Olukemi (11 of 13), Page (11 of 12) and Williams (8 of 10) accounted for 30 of those free throws.

Despite their top three scorers – Marshall Moses, Page and Olukemi – making just 33 percent of their field goal attempts (10 of 30) on Saturday, the Cowboys won the game by making their free throws.

Ford's team made just 4 of their first 10 tries from the charity stripe and fell behind 21-6 just six and a half minutes after the opening tip. The third-year OSU head coach was whistled for a technical foul following Page's second foul early in the first half and that seemed to ignite the Cowboys and the Gallagher-Iba Arena crowd.

OSU went on a 16-4 run to pull within 25-22 and trailed 42-39 at halftime.

But the Cowboys used a 14-2 run early in the second half and Page drilled a three-pointer – his first and only one of the game (he made just 1 of 7 from beyond the arc), and what would be the team's only made three-pointer (they were 1 of 14) – for their first lead at 51-49. Page added two free throws a minute later when OU head coach Jeff Capel was called for a technical foul and the Cowboys led the remainder of the game.

They made 9 of 10 free throws in the final 2:21 to sew up the win as the Cowboys improved to 40-4 at Gallagher-Iba Arena during Ford's three seasons as head coach.

"We just got off to such a slow start. It was unbelievable," Ford said. "I think getting into a hole like that, my technical and everything, I think everybody just got mad. We got frustrated, mad and started digging in because we were giving them a lot of open shots.

"We started attacking more with our defense ... once you get down 15, I was like, let's just go after them at this point. We had to get them out of their rhythm. At one point they were shooting at about a 68 percent clip at one time when I looked at the stat sheet. Our motors were not running to start the game."

OSU has a week off before returning to action next Saturday at Nebraksa.

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