Eaton, Cowboys Sink Red Raiders

STILLWATER – It's a good thing Byron Eaton makes his free throws. The Oklahoma State point guard scored a career-high 29 points while making a career-best 18 free throws in leading the Cowboys to a thrilling 81-80 come-from-behind victory over Texas Tech on Wednesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Eaton and his teammates made history Wednesday night as they rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit for the victory, which ties a school record for the largest halftime deficit overcome for a win. Oklahoma State had rallied from 12-point halftime deficit two other times for victories – on Dec. 6, 1980 against Louisville and on March 3, 1996 at Missouri.

Oklahoma State improves to 14-7 overall and 3-4 in Big 12 Conference play, while Texas Tech drops to 11-11 and 1-6.

The Cowboys trailed for nearly 38 minutes - following Texas Tech's John Roberson's three-pointer to open the game until the final two minutes. Head coach Travis Ford's team trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half, and was behind 59-45 with less than 15 minutes remaining in the game.

But Eaton and the Cowboys never gave up. The 5-foot-10 point guard scored 15 of the Cowboys' final 36 points, including a left-handed jumper with 29 seconds remaining in the game for the winning basket.

Eaton finished the game 18-of-20 from the free throw line (the third most ever made by a Cowboy, and tied for the third most attempts in a game). He attempted just seven field goal attempts but continually drove to the basket where he was fouled by a multitude of Red Raiders. In the second half alone, the Cowboy drew 11 fouls against the Red Raiders.

"Byron played great defense and put the team on his shoulders," Ford said. "This was a little bit different than the Missouri game (in which the Cowboys rallied from a huge deficit before losing 97-95). We didn't deserve to win the Missouri game. We made a comeback but we didn't really deserve to win.

"But tonight we deserved to win for the fact that we had good attitudes all night long. Everybody, the players and the coaches, stayed really into the game and we stayed very positive. We stayed positive and patient when things weren't going our way and we weren't playing very well at all. I was proud of how they kept their attitude."

Texas Tech head coach Pat Knight said about Eaton, "He's good. He's very good at driving the ball and drawing fouls. He causes a lot of problems and our whole situation was we just didn't want to give up threes and you can't take away either or, especially on the road."

Eaton, who added six assists while scoring 29 points, was not the only Cowboy who helped earn the victory. Marshall Moses tied a career-high with 18 points while adding 8 rebounds while playing a career-high 38 minutes. James Anderson struggled shooting the ball (making just 2 of 10 shots) but contributed a career-best 12 rebounds. Terrel Harris finished with 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals.

Ford admitted Wednesday night's game was a must-win for the Cowboys, who had lost four of their five previous games, including back-to-back losses to Missouri and Oklahoma at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

"This was one of those must wins," Ford said.

Harris added, "Our life is on the line right now. We can't get three losses in a row at home. That would kill us right now. We knew we had to win, we just dug down deep and thankfully we've got a point guard that saved us."

It doesn't get any easier for the Cowboys as they go on the road to face two of the Big 12's top three teams over a four-day span. They travel to Lawrence, Kan., to face the 21st-ranked KU Jayhawks (17-4) on Saturday, and then make the trip to Austin, Texas to play the 16th-ranked Texas Longhorns (15-5) next Tuesday.

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