STILLWATER – Needing a win in the worst way, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were struggling to score in overtime against Kansas State on Saturday afternoon inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Cowboys were just 1-for-7 from the field in the extra five-minute period. But the Wildcats were even worse, making just one of eight shots and missing four of their five free throws.
The Cowboys captured the 58-55 victory over the Wildcats, thanks to Tavarius Shine, who scored five of his 11 points in overtime to help OSU win for only the third time in the last 12 games and break a five-game conference losing streak.
OSU improves to 12-13 overall and 3-9 in the Big 12, while K-State falls to 14-11 and 3-9.
Shine, the sophomore from Irving, Texas, came off the bench to spark the Cowboys, finishing with 11 points (making a trio of three-pointers), four rebounds and two steals. But his trey to begin the overtime and then two free throws a few minutes later paved the way for the Cowboys to win their first Big 12 game since Jan. 19.
"I was mainly just taking whatever they would give us," Shine said. "Whatever they gave me, I just took it. I was trying to take contested shots. Coach [Travis] Ford and my team always say shoot the ball, so I just tried to come in and shoot as best as I could."
But the Cowboys almost didn’t need Shine’s effort in overtime.
The Wildcats had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation but K-State’s Barry Brown missed a layup with about five seconds on the clock. OSU’s Jeff Newberry came up with the ball near midcourt during the ensuing scramble for the loose ball.
The Cowboys senior’s 35-footer went in at the buzzer, setting off a celebration by the OSU bench and the Gallagher-Iba crowd. But a video review by the officials showed that the ball was still in Newberry’s hand when the buzzer sounded, nullifying the basket and sending the game into overtime.
"That's usually something that's been happening to us these past couple of weeks where a shot like that would go in," Newberry said. "When I hit it I knew I didn't get it off in time. I was telling everybody to calm down, but if it was good it would've been a great feeling. That's like a shot you dream of as a kid, so that would've been a good feeling if it did count."
Newberry only added a free throw – to go along with Shine’s five points – in overtime but he certainly did his share to help the Cowboys win. He finished with a double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds), while also adding five assists, three steals and two blocks.
"I brought Jeff in earlier in the week and told him that it was my fault that he wasn't playing well," OSU head coach Travis Ford said. "I had talked to him about picking up some of the scoring load since Jawun [Evans] was out and that wasn't right. I put too much pressure on him to an extent and it got him out of what makes him great because he started forcing the issue. What makes him great is when he's locked in on defense and rebounding. He's one of the few players that can affect the game in a lot of different ways.
"We didn't play great, but we played hard and played with a lot of grit and a lot of fight," Ford added. "We moved onto the next play and didn't worry about the last one. We lost ourselves in the game and tuned everything out."
Leyton Hammonds led the Cowboys with 13 points (5-of-18 from the field, including 3-of-11 from behind the arc) while contributing six rebounds. It was the OSU wing's sixth consecutive game to score in double figures.
"It's been rough [during the losing streak]," Shine said. "It's been a good learning experience for our team. From taking losing at the buzzer on a layup, it's been tough, but it's made us even hungrier to get back in and keep working. When we get back into that predicament it won't happen again."
The Cowboys don’t have long to celebrate, though, as they travel to Lawrence, Kan., for a Big Monday contest with No. 3 Kansas. OSU rolled to an impressive 86-67 victory over KU on Jan. 19 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.