Brad Underwood had to be wondering what he was seeing Wednesday night when his Oklahoma State Cowboys fell behind 33-19 in the first 14 minutes at Kansas State. But the Cowboys dominated from that point on – outscoring the Wildcats 61-35 – en route to an impressive 80-68 victory at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas.
The Cowboys have won nine of their last 10 games to improve to 19-9 overall and 8-7 in Big 12 play. Kansas State falls to 17-11 and 6-9.
Senior Leyton Hammonds was outstanding with 18 points and 10 rebounds for his third career double-double and sophomore point guard Jawun Evans added 21 points and nine assists. But it was the play of sophomore Davon Dillard and freshmen Brandon Averette and Cam McGriff coming off the bench that led to the comeback victory.
Dillard, Averette and McGriff combined to make 12 of 14 shots from the field to score all 28 of the Cowboys’ bench points while contributing 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. Dillard was 4-of-5 shooting for 9 points, Averette was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field for 13 points with 3 assists, and McGriff was 2-of-3 shooting for 6 points with 3 rebounds and a steal.
The Cowboys failed to score the first nine possessions of the game – missing their first six shots and committing four turnovers – to fall behind 8-0. They didn’t score until Averette’s layup with 14:10 left in the first half, and the Cowboys were fortunate to be within eight at that point.
The Wildcats extended their lead to 33-19 over the next eight minutes, but that’s when the tide turned for the Cowboys. Head coach Brad Underwood’s team went on a 19-6 run to close out the first half and then outscored the Wildcats 42-29 in the second half.
The OSU victory breaks a five-game losing streak for the Cowboys in Bramlage Coliseum. The last time the Cowboys won in Manhattan was more than seven years ago when they upset No. 10 K-State 73-69 on Jan. 23, 2010.
OSU will be back in Stillwater at 1 p.m. Saturday to play Texas Tech at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Cowboys defeated the Red Raiders 83-64 on Jan. 21 in Lubbock.