Cowboys Escape From the Law

STILLWATER – Texas A&M guard Acie Law was all but unstoppable in the second half against Oklahoma State on Wednesday night. But that was before Eddie Sutton decided during a timeout with only 14.4 seconds remaining to put JamesOn Curry on the Aggie who scored 25 points in the final 20 minutes. Curry did his job by forcing Law into one of his few misses as the Cowboys held of for a 79-77 victory over the Aggies in front of a raucous Gallagher-Iba Arena crowd of 13,058.

Oklahoma State improved to 11-5 overall and 1-1 in Big 12 play, while Texas A&M saw its record fall to 10-2 overall and 1-1 in the league.

Freshman Terrel Harris, who entered the game averaging 3.1 points and had scored a total of 44 points all season, was the difference-maker for the Cowboys on this night. He scored OSU's first nine points of the game – all on three-pointers – and scored a career-high 21 points, but made the biggest play with the score tied 74-74.

The 6-foot-5 freshman from Garland, Texas, drove to the basket as the shot clock was winding down with less than three minutes to play. Texas A&M guard Chris Walker jumped into his path, but Harris went up and scored while Walker was whistled for a blocking foul much to the chagrin of A&M coach Billy Gillispie. Harris completed the conventional three-point play to give the Cowboys a 77-74 lead.

"It was right there in front of us and I thought it was probably the proper call," OSU head coach Eddie Sutton said. "But I'd probably have thought differently if I was on the other end."

Law, who scored 25 of A&M's 41 second-half points, scored on the Aggies' next trip down the floor to pull within two. But that would be the final two points he would score on the night.

OSU forward Torre Johnson's bank shot from just outside the paint with 1:55 remaining proved to be the game-winning points for the Cowboys. A&M's Walker hit a free throw with 43 seconds left to make it 79-77.

The Cowboys were attempting to run as much time off the clock as possible on their possession, but point guard Jamaal Brown threw the ball out of bounds with 22 seconds remaining to give the Aggies one last chance. A&M's Gillispie called a timeout with 14.4 seconds left to se up a play for Law. But Sutton countered that move. He had Brown and Byron Eaton covering Law all night but had the 6-foot-3 Curry switch to him when the teams came out of the timeout. Law got the ball out on top and forced up a 25-footer with Curry and Harris in his face. The ball bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded signaling the Cowboys first Big 12 victory of the season.

"I'm happy we won. It would have been tragic to have lose a game at home like that," Sutton said.

Harris had the game of his college career, finishing with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while contributing 5 rebounds, one assist and a steal.

"I thought Terrel Harris was terrific," Sutton said. "I thought he was the best shooter before we started practice. He has been shooting the ball much better the last few days so we were happy to see him finally take it to the game."

Harris said, "I just let the game come to me. I made sure I played defense hard and I let my offense come. Tonight was the night that I was just hitting my shots. I got my opportunities and I just ran with it. I still played defense the same way, but I had the shots to come with it this time."

Mario Boggan scored 16 points before fouling out with 2:57 to play. Curry added 12 points but was hassled into a 4-of-12 shooting night.

Law was 13-of-21 from the field (including 9-of-11 in the second half) and 7-of-9 from the free-throw line for his 35 points. A&M center Joseph Johnson added 27 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 13-of-17 from the foul line.

"It was a tough game to lose," said Gillispie. "We had a great chance to beat them. We just couldn't get any stops when we needed them, we missed too many free throws and made too many mental errors to beat a team as good as they played offensively."

The Cowboys return to action on Saturday when the travel to Waco, Texas, to face the Baylor Bears. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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