STILLWATER – Oklahoma State lost inside Gallagher-Iba Arena for the sixth time this season on Saturday night when Texas Tech won 71-61. It ended a 12-game losing streak by the Red Raiders inside Gallagher-Iba Arena – their last win was in 2003 when Bobby Knight was Tech's head coach.
The Cowboys are now 8-6 in home games this season. The last time OSU lost more than six games inside its historic arena was during the 1972-73 season when the Cowboys finished the year with a 4-7 home record.
OSU, now 12-15 overall and 3-11 in Big 12 play, finishes with home games against 10th-ranked West Virginia (the Cowboys lost 77-60 in Morgantown earlier this season) and No. 24 Texas (a 74-69 defeat). The Cowboys will not be favored in either game and if they lose they will finish with an 8-8 home record.
Since the 1938-39 season when the arena opened, OSU has lost eight or more home games in a season only two times. In 1971-72, the Cowboys were 3-9 at home and in 1965-66 they finished the season 3-10 inside the arena.
"We just didn't defend this game," OSU head coach Travis Ford said. "Our defense really let us down. We had losing numbers, defensively from percentages to points they scored. They shot 30 free throws and we shot eight. Defensively it wasn't good at all. We're just so caught up right now with having to shoot so many jump shots."
The Cowboys made a season-high 14 three-pointers and only turned the ball over four times in 40 minutes. But that didn’t get the job done against Texas Tech, which is now on a four-game winning streak in Big 12 play for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
The Cowboys have now lost 11 of their last 13 and must win their final four games to finish with a winning record during the regular season.
OSU made 21 shots against Tech, and 14 of those were from behind the arc. Jeff Newberry led the way (4-of-7 on three-pointers), while Leyton Hammonds, Jeffrey Carroll and Tavarius Shine each made three.
But it wouldn’t be enough as the Red Raiders used a quick star to the second half, outscoring the Cowboys 13-4 in the first three and a half minutes after being tied 29-29 at halftime, to pull away. The Red Raiders outscored the Cowboys 42-32 in the second half, shooting 55 percent from the field and making 62.5 percent from behind the arc in the final 20 minutes.
The Cowboys made a run, pulling within 42-41 but never regained the lead despite several chances midway through the second period.
“We gave up 40-plus points in the second half," Newberry said. "When you let anybody come onto your home court and do that then you see the result you're going to get. I don't know at which point it got away. It was close for the majority of the game. You've just got to grit your teeth and defend at the end of the game and we didn't go that. They came out and hit some big threes. We've got to play a full possession and we didn't do that."
Newberry led the Cowboys with 16 points, and also contributed four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Hammonds was the only other OSU players in double figures with 15 points while adding a team-best seven rebounds.
OSU returns to action Wednesday night at Oklahoma. The Cowboys lost the first meeting of the season 74-72 in Stillwater on Jan. 13.
"They're down right now," Ford said of his Cowboys. "I told them that they have two choices. They can either hang their heads and walk around as if you lost your puppy dog and feel sorry for yourself or you can throw your shoulders back, grit your teeth and come out with some fight. Those are the two options you have. Which door are you going to walk through? When adversity sets in, you have choices to make. You can either come out ready to defend, fight, crawl, scratch and do whatever you've got to do or you can sit around and feel sorry for yourself."