Cowboys Survive Trip To Lubbock

For 29 minutes Wednesday night Oklahoma State looked like a team that deserves an NCAA Tournament bid. But during the game's final 11 minutes they looked more like a team that would have struggled in the Oklahoma state high school tournament. The Cowboys let a 25-point lead dwindle to six late in the game before making 10-of-10 free throws in the final 1:04 to defeat Texas Tech 92-82 in Lubbock.

The Cowboys, now 16-9 overall and 5-6 in Big 12 play, wouldn't have survived the trip to Lubbock without stellar performances by senior Terrel Harris and sophomore James Anderson.

Harris scored a career-high 27 points and played outstanding defense on Texas Tech guard John Roberson, who entered the game as the Red Raiders leading scorer but was held to just seven points (and was 1-of-6 from the field) by the OSU senior guard.

"He scores 27 points and had to guard his man 94 feet. He had a tremendous game defensively on their leading scorer. He had a complete game tonight, which we needed," said OSU head coach Travis Ford. "When you're on the road you've got to have somebody step up and have a special game like he did."

Anderson scored 24 points – he's now averaging 28.7 in the last three games – and made four huge free throws in the game's final moments to secure the win for the Cowboys.

"We needed this win. We told our guys after the game that this was a big win, and we needed it," said Ford.

"Any time you get a win on the road this late in the year it's always good. I thought our team played well for 35 minutes. We shot the ball well, we shared it well, and it's probably the best defense we've played in a long time."

Oklahoma State led by 15 at halftime and increased that lead to 68-43 on Anderson's fast-break lay up with 11 minutes to play. But the Cowboys made just two field goals the rest of the way, and the Red Raiders came storming back behind the play of Mike Singletary.

While the Red Raiders were making a 16-1 run, the Cowboys were struggling to find a way to score. As a matter of fact, during one seven-minute stretch of the second half the Cowboys were getting to the free-throw line but made just 4-of-12 from the charity stripe.

But Ford's team was up to the challenge after Texas Tech pulled within 76-70 with 2:54 left in the game. After not scoring a basket since Anderson's layup with 11:12 on the clock, OSU point guard Byron Eaton ended the drought by scoring on a putback after rebounding his own miss.

The Red Raiders answered on their next possession and the Cowboys appeared to be in trouble until Obi Muonelo (who was 4-of-4 from three-point range) hit a big trey with just one second on the shot clock to give OSU an 81-72 lead with 1:45 remaining. The Red Raiders were forced to begin fouling in the final two minutes and the Cowboys sank 11 of 12 free throws to capture the win.

"In the second half I thought we played like we wanted the time to run out," Ford said. "We weren't making free throws, we were allowing them to come down and make shots, we were fouling and allowing the clock to stop and them to score.

"We were very fortunate to get out of here with a win. But for the most part I thought we played pretty well on the road."

The two teams combined for 72 free throws (Texas Tech was 32-of-43 from the foul line) and the Big 12 officials called 54 fouls in the game.

"It was probably the worst foul trouble we've been in all year long," Ford said. "We had guys that were tired but we couldn't get them out because we didn't have anybody to put in for them. The foul trouble really hurt us."

Muonelo added 16 points coming off the bench for the first time this season. Marshall Moses scored just two points but had a team-best 12 rebounds, and Nick Sidorakis contributed four points and a career-best six rebounds.

The Cowboys get a chance to get back to .500 in Big 12 play when they host Baylor inside Gallagher-Iba Arena on Saturday afternoon.

GoPokes Top Stories