Cowboys Sink Longhorns For Road Win

The last Big 12 road win for the Oklahoma State Cowboys was 345 days ago. But when they needed it most the Cowboys got the road victory they needed thanks to veterans Le’Bryan Nash and Phil Forte as OSU defeated Texas 65-63 in overtime on Wednesday night at the Erwin Events Center in Austin.

The win was OSU’s first on the road after losing its first four Big 12 road games this season. The Cowboys are now 15-7 overall and 5-5 in Big 12 play, while Texas lost its fourth game in a row to drop to 14-8 and 3-6.

Forte and Nash, the Cowboys leading scorers, struggled against Texas, which led the nation entering the game with 7.8 blocked shots per game, ranked second nationally with a plus-10.7 rebounding margin, ranked third nationally with 42.14 rebounds per game and ranked fifth nationally by limiting the opposition to 36.4 percent shooting from the field.

Forte was 3-of-13 shooting while Nash was just 6-of-19. But when it mattered most in overtime the two Cowboys came up big.

"We got a lot of contributions, and we played so hard we got a lot of shots up. The more shots that LB and Phil Forte can get for us, some of them are going to go in," Cowboys head coach Travis Ford said.

"They had terrible shooting nights but I thought Nash's shots were all pretty good, and I thought he played with a pretty good motor on offense. Phil forced some (shots) but we want him to force some. Both him and Nash are allowed to force a few shots.

"Other guys, like [Anthony] Hickey stepped up. [Jeff] Newberry early in the first half stepped up. Tyree Griffin came in and gave us some points. That's what we need."

Nash’s back-to-back baskets early in the extra period kept the Cowboys close and then the senior’s two free throws tied it up 62-62 with 1:09 remaining. Forte was fouled after grabbing a rebound after a Longhorn miss and gave the Cowboys the lead by making one of two free throws.

The Longhorns pulled even 63-63 when Connor Lammert also made one of two free throws with 11.6 seconds. After an OSU timeout, the 5-11 Forte took the ball to the basket, drawing a foul from 6-9 Cameron Ridley with just 2.1 seconds remaining on the clock.

The OSU junior made both free throws and then Texas guard Isaiah Taylor’s long-range three-pointer was off the mark at the buzzer, giving the Cowboys their first Big 12 road win since defeating TCU 76-54 on Feb. 24, 2014. OSU was 2-11 over the past two seasons in Big 12 road games prior to Wednesday night's victory.

Nash led the Cowboys with 17 points. Anthony Hickey was outstanding with 15 points (including making all three of his three-point shots), four steals and two rebounds. Forte finished with 14 points, including the two game-winning free throws.

The Longhorns were led by Taylor, who finished with 18 points but the Cowboys forced him into making seven turnovers (five in the first half).

"The two keys to the game that we talked about before the game was offensive rebounding and keeping them off the glass, and we did that (the Longhorns only had nine offensive boards) and keeping them out of transition, and we did that," Ford said. "When you execute the scouting report you have a pretty good chance to win."

OSU returns to Gallagher-Iba Arena for a Saturday afternoon showdown with No. 9 Kansas. The Jayhawks are 19-3 overall and lead the Big 12 with an 8-1 mark, holding a two-game lead over West Virginia and Iowa State.


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