Huskers Send Cowboys To Fourth Loss In A Row

STILLWATER – When was the last time Oklahoma State fans were asking on Jan. 31 when spring football practice started? That may be the case following Tuesday night's 59-57 loss to Nebraska – only the second time in Eddie Sutton's coaching tenure at OSU that the Cowboys have lost four games in a row.

The last time Sutton had to address his team following four consecutive losses was nearly 14 years ago. That was the case until Tuesday night when Nebraska rallied from a six-point deficit in the last four minutes to claim the two-point victory over Oklahoma State in front of a Gallagher-Iba Arena crowd of 11,814. The Cowboys have now lost four games in a row (three of them by two points) for the first time since 1992. Sutton's second team at Oklahoma State went down to defeat four consecutive times from Feb. 12-23, 1992.

A Sutton-coached Cowboy team has never lost five games in a row. OSU, 12-9 overall and 2-5 in the Big 12 (the worst conference start ever by the Cowboys under the 16th-year head coach), will attempt to keep Sutton's streak intact of having never lost five consecutive games when the Cowboys travel to Kansas State on Saturday afternoon.

"It hurts man. There are no words to describe it," said OSU's JamesOn Curry, who tied a career high with six three-pointers and finished with 22 points.

Nebraska's Jamel White caught an air ball by Wes Wilkinson under the basket and laid it in with 1.1 second remaining on the clock for the winning points. The Cowboys tried to rush the ball up the court but could not get a shot off before the buzzer sounded.

"Our decision-making has not been what it should be," Cowboy assistant coach Jimmy Williams said after OSU's fourth last-possession loss of the season. "We have to take care of the basketball, which we have not done down the stretch. We had a big turnover with the lead that I thought had a big impact on the game. When you have a six-point lead with three minutes or less to go and you make a couple stops and a couple good plays on offense, you are going to win the game.

"Some people can blame it on being young, but we are not going to make that excuse. Our guys have been with us for so long now that they know that they need to make better decisions down the stretch."

White's basket was just one of two by the Cornhuskers in the final seven minutes of play, but they still managed to win because of some costly OSU turnovers in the final few minutes. The Cowboys led 55-49 with 3:51 remaining after JamesOn Curry's sixth three-pointer of the night. OSU's lead was four points (57-53) with less than 90 seconds to play, but that's when the Cowboys started to fall apart.

Mario Boggan fouled out with 1:17 remaining and Nebraska's Wilkinson made two free throws to pull within two. On the next possession Curry turned the ball over, leading to Jason Dourisseau's fast break dunk that tied it up 57-57 with just under a minute to play.

Curry's three-pointer from the wing was off the mark on the Cowboys' next possession and bounced out of bounds to Nebraska with 32.6 seconds remaining. The Cornhuskers worked for the final shot after a timeout but the move almost backfired when OSU's Byron Eaton knocked the ball away from White and there was a mad scramble on the floor with less than 10 seconds to play. White, Eaton and Jamaal Brown all dove to the floor with hopes of securing possession. White called for a timeout and the officials gave it to him with 5.9 seconds left on the clock.

After the timeout the Cornhuskers got the ball to Wilkinson, who had already made three treys in the game. But his shot from the top of the key was challenged by Torre Johnson. Unfortunately for the Cowboys it landed in the hands of White who laid it in uncontested for the winning basket.

"They had a play drawn up for me at the end," Wilkinson said. "I thought I got a good look, but I air-balled it, and luckily, Jamel was in the right place at the right time to put it back."

OSU's assistant Jimmy Williams said, "Life is hard. It gives the test first and the lesson after. We know our guys have learned some lessons. It is going to be tough on them, but we have to really bow up and get tough. We are what we are right now and we have to keep playing tough. We have the making of a good ball club, we just have some things to work on. We are not that far away from being a decent ball club. We just have to keep working and keep growing."

GoPokes Top Stories