Cowboys Stop Buffs, Six-Game Losing Streak

STILLWATER – Oklahoma State's basketball team got just what it needed Wednesday night to end a six-game losing streak. The Cowboys played host to the Colorado Buffaloes, which had lost in 20 of their last 21 trips to Stillwater, and won for the first time in more than three weeks. The Cowboys hung on to defeat the Buffaloes 64-63 in a battle of the Big 12's last place teams.

But it wasn't easy for Sean Sutton's squad, which had to score on its last nine possessions of the game to capture its first win in the last seven contests – the longest losing streak since a six-game skid during the 1986-87 season.

The Cowboys led by nine points with under a minute to play on James Anderson's basket with 56 seconds left on the clock. But they were forced to make 7 of 10 free throws – including two by Byron Eaton with 1.2 seconds in the game ¬- in the final minute to capture the victory.

"The bottom line is we needed a win, and it didn't matter whether it was by one point or seven points. Our team needed to win," OSU head coach Sean Sutton said of the Cowboys, who are now 11-11 overall and 2-6 in Big 12 play.

"I thought the first half we really did a great job defensively because they are hard to prepare for with their Princeton offense, and they can make you look bad if you're not ready.

"I'm glad it didn't go another minute the way they were shooting at the end," Sutton said.

The Buffaloes, which lost their sixth consecutive conference game to fall to 9-13 overall and 1-7 in league action, rallied in the final minute thanks to some remarkable three-point shooting. Richard Roby's try with 22.7 seconds left pulled the Buffs within 60-56.

After Eaton made one of two free throws, and Colorado struggled to get the ball in the basket, Marcus Hall launched a long-range bomb from nearly 30 feet to pull within 61-59 but there were just 4.6 seconds remaining.

The Buffs immediately fouled Eaton, who again made just one of two free throws with 4.1 seconds on the clock. The Cowboys did not allow Colorado to get the ball up the court to attempt a three-pointer that would have sent the game into overtime, instead fouling Roby as he crossed half court with just 1.2 seconds left to play.

The Buffs' leading scorer – who had made all eight of his free throws in the game – missed the first and made the second as the Buffs pulled within 62-60.

Eaton was fouled before the ball could be inbounded, and went to the free throw line where he made a pair of free throws to cinch the win. Hall's miraculous 50-foot three-pointer at the buzzer went in to make it a one-point margin.

A trio of freshmen – Martavius Adams, Ibrahima Thomas and James Anderson – were the best players for the Cowboys against the Buffaloes. Adams, who had scored just one basket in OSU's first seven Big 12 games, had six points and nine rebounds in eight minutes during the first half. Thomas contributed nine points and 10 rebounds in 26 minutes before fouling out. Anderson led the Cowboys with 16 points and was 2-of-5 from three-point range.

"Martavius, the last two days, has really practiced well and I thought it really showed tonight," Sutton said. "Thomas also really played well. They had 15 points and 19 rebounds between them, and for two young freshmen in a Big 12 game, which was a solid performance."

Sutton was pleased with how his team performed down the stretch, scoring on its final nine possessions.

"We got some easy shots, and converted some easy shots. I told them during the timeouts that we had to stay aggressive and could not play tentative and try to sit on this lead," he said. "We needed the guys to stay aggressive and make plays, and I thought we did a good job.

"I'll say this about our players, during this streak when we've lost so many close games and had so many tough losses, they've never put their heads down and never felt sorry for themselves. They kept their spirits up and they continued to work hard on the practice court," Sutton added.

The Cowboys will look to break an 18-game road losing streak – dating back to Feb. 4, 2006 when they defeated Kansas State – when they travel Saturday to Manhattan, Kans., to take on the 20th-ranked Wildcats (16-5).

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