Cowboys' Rally Falls Short

STILLWATER – Several thousand Oklahoma State fans left Wednesday night's game against Missouri with four minutes left and the Cowboys trailing by 15. But those fair-weather fans almost missed a miraculous comeback as OSU outscored Missouri 19-6 over the last four minutes – and had several chances in the last 30 seconds for the win – but came up short, falling 97-95 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The Cowboys trailed 91-76 with four minutes to play but had three chances in the final 30 seconds to rally for an improbable victory.

First, Byron Eaton's jumper from in the lane came up short and the referees called a jump ball - with the possession arrow giving the ball to Missouri - when it appeared he got the rebound under the basket with 27.8 seconds remaining with the Cowboys trailing 96-95.

After Missouri had made one of two free throws to go up 97-95 with 15 seconds on the clock, Obi Muonelo's three-pointer was blocked out of bounds with 6.6 seconds left, and then Eaton's last shot at the win with three seconds remaining was off the mark.

Oklahoma State is now 12-5 on the season and saw its record drop to 1-2 in Big 12 play. Missouri, despite scoring just three points in the final three minutes of the game, improves to 16-3 overall and 3-1 in the conference.

"I'm disappointed in the way we played tonight," OSU head coach Travis Ford said. "I just don't think we came out and were ready mentally. We were doing things defensively we thought we had corrected in the first week of practice.

"Guys were running into each other (on defense), we gave up way too many lay ups to Missouri. We talked about for three days don't turn it over, and the first play of the game Obi turns it over. It was just mental mistakes. We were playing catch up all night," Ford added.

Muonelo led four Cowboys in double figures with 22 points. Eaton and Terrel Harris each added 21, while James Anderson contributed 17.

DeMarre Carroll led the Tigers with 19 points, while J.T. Tiller added 15, Keith Ramsey 12, Zaire Taylor 10, and Leo Lyons 10.

"You're not going to win games when you give a team 53 percent (shooting) in your own gym, and turn it over 19 times, and you only have nine assists. And a lot of these stats at skewed because the last five minutes, but for 35 minutes they really dominated us on the glass, in field-goal percentage, everything. We were pretty much dominated for 35 minutes," Ford said.

The Cowboys will look to bounce back after losing back-to-back heartbreakers when they travel to Nebraska on Saturday.

"Our backs are against the wall. I told our guys that we've got to figure some things out. You'd better humble yourself because we played the first 35 minutes like we'd accomplished something," the OSU head coach said.

"We've won some big games, we've played hard ... but we've got to be a group of over-achievers. We've got a lot of weaknesses on our basketball team that we have to cover up, and the only way we've been able to do that when we've had some success is to play hard for 40 minutes.

"This game should hopefully humble these guys a little bit, and make them hungrier because it only gets tougher."

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