Cowboys Drop Fourth In A Row

Oklahoma State had its chance against Iowa State but the Cowboys were outscored by 14 points in the final six minutes and suffered a 96-86 loss to the Cyclones on Wednesday night.

Iowa State used a strong final five-plus minutes in a game that had plenty of ebb and flow to it, but points and the lay-ins flowed late for the Cyclones and they used it to notch a Big 12 road win and their eighth straight over Oklahoma State 96-86. The Cyclones out scored the Cowboys 31-17 over the last 5:40 of the game.
Iowa State goes to 11-4 on the season and a good 3-1 start in the Big 12, while the Pokes fall to 10-6 and a 0-4 in the Big 12. Oklahoma State next travels to second-ranked Kansas on Saturday.

"Anytime you get a road win in this league that is huge," Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. "We respect Oklahoma State and Coach [Brad] Underwood and his program. I'm so proud of my guys."

After battling back from the bad recipe start the Cowboys came out and used a Juwan Evans lay-in, just his fifth and sixth points of the game, to take the lead 48-47. But then let Iowa State puddle around to another semi-comfortable lead thanks to three-point baskets by Naz Long and Matt Thomas to jump out to a 57-52 advantage.

Then something really great happened as the Cyclones didn't wait until they got home or until the deep freeze expected to hit Oklahoma arrives on Friday, the Cyclones turned cold – deep freeze cold – with two points over a 6:37 span from 16:17 to 9:40 on the clock. 

The Cowboys didn't use it to the max, but they did creep by Iowa State. Mitch Solomon hit a pair of free throws as did Juwan Evans after he was fouled by Naz Long following a steal and it was 60-57 Oklahoma State. Then a pair of Evans assists to Jeffrey Carroll with Carroll first driving in for a reverse layup and then down the baseline for a slam on the second hook up. OSU led 64-59 with 9:51 to go. 

"We needed more of those where we got three defensive stops in a row," said the Cowboys Phil Forte. "No one is going to feel sorry for us. We're going to find out about us and it starts tomorrow when we get ready for Kansas."

"Both teams we're going to make runs and I thought we weathered their run in the second half," Cyclones guard Matt Thomas said. "Every game in this league is tough, every night."

It was not enough as Oklahoma State went chilly scoring in the last five minutes and Iowa State had re-lit the pilot light with a pair of three-pointers from Monte Morris, who finished with 30 points, a career high.
The Cyclones led 73-69 and then Darrell Bowie followed the threes up with back-to-back lay-ups, the first a lay in coming across the front of the basket and then the second a baseline drive past a Cowboy defender to the bucket and a 77-71 lead. Thomas had 19 points, Naz Long a quiet 17, and Bowie had a noisy 13 points.

"I was really impressed with Morris and it was his defense," Underwood said of Iowa State's star. "You can have his 30, but he impressed me with his defense."

If you were looking for a poor recipe to start the contest then you got about as bad a mix early as possible. The Cowboys committed five turnovers in the first 4:23 and three of those led directly to six Cyclone points. Then you have to add the two quick fouls on the Cowboys and the Big 12 Conference leading scorer Juwan Evans as a foul after having his pocket picked on a steal and then an over the back on a rebound sent Evans to the bench at the 17:19 mark after the start.

"We have got to figure out our passive starts," Underwood said. "Give them the credit they came out and played aggressive and they got rebounds, got turnovers, and they got what they wanted on their possessions. Until we figure out our starts we're going to have problems."

Life has been anything but a bowl of oranges lately for Evans as Texas did a decent defensive job on him, actually holding him to his average, but a quiet night. The team had a better effort at Baylor, but Evans was in early foul trouble and nullified in Waco.

With the bad start for the Pokes, Deonte Burton of Iowa State was the happy recipient of the Oklahoma State gifts as he hit a baseline jumper and then a three from the right wing to propel Iowa State to an early 14-4 lead.

Thanks to Iowa State fouls and a few jump shots Oklahoma State kept it in range and got the first real rise out of the crowd when Jeffrey Carroll lobbed the ball inside to Cameron McGriff, all alone inside, for a rousing alley-oop slam dunk. Still, the Cyclones led 21-13 with 12 minutes left in the first half.

Three-pointers were part of the Cyclones arsenal as Morris and Matt Thomas each had an early pair of threes for Iowa State which kept building the lead. But Oklahoma State resisted letting the Cyclones run and hide and an offensive mix of a Forte three, a couple of Forte drives and a hefty dose of Carroll, who scored on a nice assist from Evans and on a baseline drive. The Cowboys got it back to 36-30 with 5:28 to play in the half.

Forte hit another trey and then had to leave the game when he injured a finger on a rebound attempt on the defensive end, but his teammates kept it up as McGriff nailed a three from "Forte range" and then Leyton Hammonds bulled up for a rebound off a Cowboy miss and then bulled back up for the basket to make it 42-38.

Forte returned and was doing a one-man demolition act as he nailed a three but then seemed to hurt his foot, and before anybody could notice him limping the Cowboys had the ball back and Jeffrey Carroll hit another three and Larry Reece yelled, "We have a lead change," as Oklahoma State led 46-45. Iowa State would add one more basket but first half crisis averted with the Cyclones only up 47-46. 

Forte and Carroll both had 15 points in the first frame and Morris had 14 with Thomas scoring 10 to lead Iowa State. Forte led OSU with 24 points, Carroll had 21 points and Evans had 12.

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