The Texans – Jawun Evans, Leyton Hammonds, Jeffrey Carroll and Brandon Averette – did the job Wednesday night in leading the Oklahoma State Cowboys to a 71-68 victory over TCU in Fort Worth.
The Cowboys scored the final six points in the last minute and a half to rally for the three-point victory, and their seventh win in their last eight games, including four straight Big 12 road wins.
OSU improves to 17-9 overall and 6-7 in the conference, while TCU falls to 17-9 and 6-7.
Evans scored 10 of OSU’s final 14 points over the final seven and a half minutes, including an 18-foot jumper with 12 seconds left to put the Cowboys up 71-68. The sophomore point guard finished with his second career double-double (16 points and a career-best 12 assists).
“We’ve lived and died with Jawun all year in terms of late-game situations,” Cowboys head coach Brad Underwood said. “A lot of it (late in the game) was predicated on their defense. We let him get some isolations, and he’s a hard guard there. I think he missed one layup or a couple of layups but he made them when it counted.”
Hammonds was just one point shy of a career-best scoring night, finishing with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting (tying his career best with five 3-pointers on eight attempts). He also tied Carroll with a team-high seven rebounds.
Carroll added 17 points and seven rebounds, while Averette only scored four points but two of those were free throws with 1:02 remaining to give the Cowboys a 69-68 lead.
“Leyton was tremendous (with 16 points and six rebounds) in the first half,” Underwood said of the fifth-year senior from North Richland Hills, Texas. “If we get that kind of production from Leyton Hammonds it gives us another dimension offensively.”
One unsung hero for the Cowboys was Mitchell Solomon, who scored all eight of his points in the second half and came up with a big block of TCU’s Vladimir Brodziansky in the final 40 seconds. The junior from Bixby, Oklahoma also tied his career-best with four blocks.
“We opened the second half and get a great lead and it was all Mitch,” Underwood said. “We got Mitch on a couple of dunks and a couple of layups.”
“It’s probably the least amount of foul trouble we’ve been in all year long,” Underwood said. “Mitch is our best defender, not even close.”
The Cowboys return home for Saturday night’s Bedlam showdown against the Oklahoma Sooners. OSU ended a seven-game losing streak in the series with a 68-66 victory on Jan. 30 in Norman.