Cowboys Send A&M's Record Crowd Home Sad

Oklahoma State played the role of spoiler to perfection when the largest crowd in the 90-year history of Texas A&M basketball showed up Saturday night at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas. John Lucas scored a game-high 18 points, including a pair of crucial baskets in the final five minutes, to lead the 10th-ranked Cowboys to a 66-59 victory over the Aggies before a record-breaking crowd of 13,016.

Oklahoma State, now 19-3 overall and 9-2 in the Big 12 Conference, has a week off before returning to action next Saturday when it plays host to Texas Tech at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The Cowboys led by as many as 15 points early in the second half but had to hold off the surging Aggies. Texas A&M had pulled within 62-59 on two free throws with 1:25 left in the game but Lucas found Ivan McFarlin wide open underneath the basket on the Cowboys' next possession for an easy basket. McFarlin and JamesOn Curry each added a free throw in the final 17 seconds for the final score.

"We're just happy to get out of here with a victory, because they only lost one other game down here this year," OSU head coach Eddie Sutton said.

As they have all season the Cowboys could not put a team away after getting up by a large amount in the second half.

The Cowboys went on an 18-8 run over the last 10 minutes of the first half to take a 29-23 halftime lead. Daniel Bobik's three-pointer from about five feet behind the arc in the last two seconds of the half proved to be a big shot.

Joey Graham, who had just four points in the first half but would finish with 17, came out on fire after halftime. In the first 4:05 of the second half, the 6-foot-7 Graham scored 11 points – including a trio of three-pointers – as the Cowboys took control and raced to a 42-27 lead.

"We ran some plays, Sean (Sutton) called some good plays, and Joey was able to hit those shots right after intermission," Eddie Sutton said.

Just minutes after the Cowboys had gone up by 15 Graham was whistled for an offensive foul on a monster dunk, and then just 23 seconds after that he picked up his fourth foul and had to go to the bench with 12:29 still to play.

With Graham on the bench the Cowboys went to McFarlin, who finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. After the Aggies had trimmed the lead to 48-41, McFarlin scored on back-to-back possessions to give the Cowboys a 52-41 lead.

"We ran some special plays to get Ivan the ball under the basket and he was able to convert them," Sutton said.

But the Aggies wouldn't go away. OSU's lead was just 57-50 when Lucas scored on a driving layup and was fouled by Acie Law. He converted the free throw with 4:30 remaining to give the Cowboys the 10-point lead. He scored again on the Cowboys' next possession, after two A&M free throws, to make the score 62-52. But Texas A&M scored seven consecutive points to pull within 62-59 with 1:25 remaining. Then Lucas slipped while bringing the ball up the court and turned the ball over, but A&M's Antoine Wright missed a layup that would have made it a one-point game and the Cowboys pulled down the rebound. Lucas found McFarlin for the easy basket just seconds later and OSU had the victory.

The Cowboys outrebounded the Aggies (39-30) even though Texas A&M entered the game as the Big 12's best rebounding team (with a plus-eight rebounding margin). Wright, who entered the game averaging 17.2 points, was held to 13 on 4-of-16 shooting. Bobik scored just three points – the three-pointer before halftime – but spent much of the game harassing Wright.

"I thought Daniel was teriffic on him," OSU assistant coach James Dickey said.

Eddie Sutton was happy with the victory but not pleased with the Cowboys' performance.

"I think this is the best Texas A&M team they've had here since Shelby Metcalf stepped down (following the 1989 season)," Sutton said. "We made this game awfully tough on ourselves. I don't think we played as well as we had been playing in our last four games."

GoPokes Top Stories