Cowboys Win A Close One, Finally!

It looked like the Oklahoma State basketball team was heading to its fifth consecutive loss for the first time in Eddie Sutton's 16 years as head coach of the Cowboys on Saturday afternoon in Manhattan, Kan. But that's when Jamaal Brown and Terrel Harris stepped up to hit some big three-pointers as the Cowboys rallied from a nine-point deficit in the game's final five minutes to defeat the Kansas State Wildcats 63-61 in front of a soldout Bramlage Coliseum crowd.

The victory snaps the first four-game losing streak for the Cowboys – three of which were by two points each – since 1992. OSU improves to 13-9 overall and 3-5 in the Big 12, while Kansas State falls to 12-7 overall and 3-5 with just its second home loss of the season.

"We played so many close games like that this year. I think four of the last five games were two-point games, and there was a point there late where we could have just thrown it in. There were a couple calls that went against us, and it just seemed like every time we were about to catch up they'd do something right or we'd do something wrong. It's a very pleasing victory. We needed that in the worst way," said Cowboy head coach Eddie Sutton.

The Cowboys trailed 56-47 after Kansas State's Cartier Martin made a pair of free throws with 5:00 remaining on the clock. But the Cowboys made the plays down the stretch, including a three-pointer by Harris with 1:05 remaining to give them the lead for the first time since late in the first half.

But the three-pointer by Harris wouldn't have been possible without some other big plays in the final five minutes. Brown, who made only his second start of the season, hit a pair of treys down the stretch. Mario Boggan had a tip in to get the Cowboy rally started with 4:35 left on the clock, and then he added a pair of free throws with 1:46 remaining to pull OSU into a 59-59 tie.

K-State's David Hoskins put the Wildcats back up 61-59 with two free throws when Cowboy sophomore Marcus Dove (more on him later) fouled out with 1:34 to play. But that's when Harris stepped to make the biggest shot of his freshman season. He caught the pass in front of the Cowboy bench, and with a K-State defender right in his face drilled what would be the winning three-pointer.

Boggan made a free throw with 3.6 seconds remaining to make it a two-point game, but missed the second foul shot and K-State called a timeout with 2.3 seconds left. But Sutton proved why he has now won 794 games in his major college coaching career when he inserted 6-foot-10 Aaron Pettway into the game following the timeout. Pettway deflected the Wildcat inbounds pass and they were not able to get a final shot off before the final buzzer sounded.

JamesOn Curry led the Cowboys with 12 points, while Boggan contributed 11 points and 9 rebounds. Brown finished with 11 points, David Monds added 9 and Harris had 7.

But Dove, returning from a hip injury which had kept his sidelined since Dec. 22, made his presence felt throughout the 28 minutes he was on the floor. Dove's stat line (4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists) doesn't do justice for the job he did on K-State's Cartier Martin, who entered the game averaging 19.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting better than 52 percent from the field. Dove spent most of the game guarding Martin and he finished with 8 points (the first time in 20 games he has not reached double figures) and just 2 rebounds while shooting 2-of-10 from the field.

"I thought you could really tell the difference on the defensive end with Marcus (Dove)," Sutton said of the 6-foot-9 sophomore. "He just gives the team some stability at the defensive end. He never has to score very many points to help us. It was so good to see him back on the court. He played a lot more minutes than I thought we'd be able to because he's just been able to practice two days. He played 28 minutes. I never thought we'd get that many minutes out of him, and we needed every one of them."

The Cowboys have lost four games on the last possession this season – 64-62 to Gonzaga, 80-78 in overtime to Colorado, 92-90 in overtime to Texas Tech, and 59-57 to Nebraska – but this time they came out on top.

"We needed to get off that losing track," Sutton said. "You know we lost three game there, (but) I think if we'd go back and play them, we'd win three out of four times. I'm talking about Colorado, Texas Tech and Nebraska. But you can't look back, you've just got to go forward. I thought Terrel hit a big-time shot there at the end, and Jamaal ... he was really a big key. I'm really proud of the kids, (and) the way they fought back. We could have very easily chucked it in there in the last half."

The Cowboys now begin preparing for Wednesday night's Bedlam showdown with Oklahoma inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. (Central time)

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