Oklahoma State's suffocating defense was too much for the Big 12 Conference's highest scoring team and the eighth-ranked Cowboys dominated from start to finish en route to an 85-56 victory over Texas Tech in a nationally televised game at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The victory extended OSU's home-court winning streak on Eddie Sutton Court to 28 games, the longest current streak in the nation.
The Cowboys improved to 20-3 overall and moved into a first-place tie in the Big 12 with Kansas at 10-2. OSU's players learned just moments before taking the court against Texas Tech that KU had suffered an overtime loss to Iowa State.
"I knew when we found out Iowa State beat Kansas … it's time for us to come out and play; that's what we did," said OSU senior Ivan McFarlin, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds against the Red Raiders. "We just came out and played and had fun. That's the best thing I saw on the court. We were all having fun. Everyone was smiling, everyone was cheering each other on.
"That's what Oklahoma State basketball is about - having fun and playing great defense."
Knight and the Red Raiders, who handed Kansas its first conference loss of the season in double overtime on Monday night in Lubbock, sure didn't enjoy the trip to Stillwater. The Red Raiders were the Big 12's top scoring team (82.3 points per game) and the conference's best three-point shooting squad (43.8 percent) entering the game. Guard Ronald Ross led the league in scoring with a 21.5 points per game average.
The Cowboys shut them down in every phase of the game Saturday. Texas Tech scored just 56 points – its lowest output since a 83-53 loss to Iowa on Dec. 21 – while shooting just 34.9 percent from the field (including just 3-of-14 from three-point range for 21.4 percent). Ross scored just 10 points and Jarrius Jackson, who was seventh in the Big 12 with a 17.3 point average, finished with eight.
"Oklahoma State is a very, very good team. They just totally dominated us," Knight said. "Their defense was as good as I've seen in a long time -- the way they pressured, the way they moved, just the way they worked. Those kids just came to beat our (butt), and we came to play basketball and that was a huge difference in the game I think.
"That's probably as good a performance as I've seen out of a team since I've been here."
Daniel Bobik scored eight points but his major contribution was helping hold Ross to just 5-of-17 shooting, including 0-of-4 from behind the three-point arc.
"Daniel did a terrific job on him," OSU assistant coach James Dickey said. "That's the best we've defended Tech since coach Knight has been there."
The Cowboys, who were led in scoring by the guard duo of John Lucas (25 points and six assists) and JamesOn Curry (15 points and five assists), were focused on the task at hand even after spending time in the locker room before the game watching Iowa State's upset of Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse.
"This game was awesome," said Bobik. "We knew what we needed to do coming into the game. We knew what the implications for postseason play are and what we have to do to repeat as Big 12 champions. We felt that this was a game that we needed to have. We came out and played what I think is our best 40 minutes all year."
He won't get any argument from Bobby Knight.
The Cowboys will play their final two Big 12 road games – at Nebraska on Tuesday night and at Kansas next Sunday – before returning home to wrap up the season with two games at Gallagher-Iba Arena (against Texas A&M on March 2 and vs. Texas on March 5).
Cowboys Whip Red Raiders
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