Cowboys Suffer Loss In Must-Win Game

STILLWATER – Oklahoma State couldn't overcome one obstacle after another Saturday night against 17th-ranked Texas A&M. Leading scorer Marshall Moses was ill and did not score while only playing seven minutes in the biggest game of the season as the Cowboys suffered a devastating 67-66 loss as they saw their NCAA Tournament hopes all but disappear with the loss.

The Cowboys fall to 16-10 overall and 4-8 in Big 12 play, and must win their final four regular season games, including Monday night's road game at Kansas, to finish .500 in the conference, which is all but necessary in receiving an NCAA at-large berth.

The Cowboys were without Moses, who led the team in scoring (14.7 points) and rebounding (7.6), for much of the game. He played just five minutes in the first half and only two minutes in the second half before being pulled and going to the locker room. He did not return to the bench for the final 15 minutes of the game.

Moses sent a tweet on Friday night that read, "Tweeps I'm sick I feel terrible and I'm literally praying not to get better jus to feel well enough for 2mrw night."

"We knew the last couple of days he'd been pretty sick," said Keiton Page, who scored 12 points. "You never really know when you're sick like that until you test a game, until you get in there and test it out.

"I know he had to leave a couple of times and go to the locker room, so he probably wasn't feeling very well at all. I know Marshall is disappointed that he couldn't get in there and help us because that's something he would want to do. He's pretty sick."

But even without Moses the Cowboys still had a chance thanks to a career night from third-string point guard Reger Dowell, who scored 22 points while going 6 for 8 from the field (3 of 4 from behind the three-point line) and making 7 of 8 free throws.

It was the Dallas sophomore's two free throws with 17 seconds remaining that gave the Cowboys a 66-65 lead. But Dowell made one of his few mistakes on the night when he fouled Texas A&M's B.J. Holmes at midcourt, and the Aggie senior calmly sank both free throws with 15.9 seconds remaining for the winning points.

The Cowboys had one last chance after Dowell's pass to Matt Pilgrim for what appeared to be the winning basket was stripped from the OSU senior out of bounds with 2.7 seconds remaining on the clock.

Oklahoma State did not have a timeout to set up an inbounds play and couldn't get the ball into the hands of Dowell or Keiton Page. Pilgrim took an 18-footer from the corner that missed everything as the buzzer sounded – both on the game and possibly the Cowboys' NCAA tourney hopes.

"We just kicked ourselves in the foot all night. It's amazing we had the lead with whatever seconds it was to go because we made way too many mistakes tonight to even be in this basketball game," said Cowboys head coach Travis Ford.

"Reger did a lot of good things in the game and that (foul by him) definitely didn't cost us the game. There were so many more mistakes than that one. Obviously without Marshall it's tough. We had guys out there that ... again it's amazing that we had the lead.

"But our guys showed fight. If there's one thing we'll do is fight back. We'll make many mistakes and then fight back, make mistakes and then fight back, make mistakes after mistake and fight back. That's a hard way to play."

OSU travels Monday to Lawrence, Kan., for a nationally televised Big Monday game against the No. 1-ranked Jayhawks.

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