LUBBOCK, Texas -- As it does time and time again, a Big 12 matchup became a dog fight.
With nearly 14:30 left in the second half of play, No. 13 Oklahoma State led Texas Tech by 14 points. With 3:14 remaining, the Red Raiders fought back to within one. Collectively, there were 37 turnovers, 18 steals and 1,515 wins between two legendary coaches who learned from Mr. Henry Iba.
And, when it got almost too close to call, Tony (Allen) was once again the tiger for Oklahoma State (16-1, 5-0 Big 12), as he scored three clutch field goals in the last three minutes to help secure a 79-70 win over Texas Tech (11-4, 3-1).
Allen, a transfer from Wabash Valley Community College, has been making a name for himself in Division I ranks — and quickly.
"I've had a lot of junior college players through the years everywhere I've been," OSU head coach Eddie Sutton said. "I'm not sure I've seen a junior college player, in the short time he's been with us, that plays as well as he does. Now, I think Mo Baker played very well as a junior, but I think Tony can do a lot of things maybe even Mo couldn't do."
Allen was able to penetrate to the goal all night, giving the Cowboys the extra surge they needed. Allen scored six points from the field and two free throws in the final three minutes.
"It is somethin'," OSU guard Victor Williams said. "It is incredible how he does it sometimes because he gets to the basket and if the guy rotates down, he squeezes himself through the little gap that there is in the defense."
Williams led the Cowboys in scoring, but he also headed up another statistical category he wasn't too proud of.
Despite racking up 24 points for OSU, Williams turned the ball over eight times, creating more scoring opportunities for the Red Raiders.
"That was just a lack of concentration on my part," Williams said. "As a senior, I've got to do a better job down the stretch and take care of the ball. I'm looking at my stat sheet, and I thought I played an OK game, but eight turnovers is not a good job for a point guard."
The Cowboys were able to control the transition game, outscoring the Red Raiders 18-4 in fast break points.
"When you go into a game, the two most important parts of the game are always the first five minutes of the game and the first five minutes of the second half," Tech coach Bob Knight said. "They just beat us badly in both situations — we just couldn't come back from that."
The Cowboys led 37-35 at halftime thanks to a last second 3-pointer by Williams, providing OSU with the momentum it needed to carry over into the second half of play.
True to Knight's theory, OSU jumped out to a quick 13-point lead to begin the second half, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
"Everybody steps up," OSU forward Andre Williams said. "On any given night, anybody can score a bunch of points. We need to keep that rolling and keep (the wins) rolling."
Foul trouble plagued the Cowboys interior defense throughout the game, a concern for Sutton and the players.
"From a critical standpoint, we turned the ball over too many times and maybe fouled too much," Sutton said. "But you are going to do that the way Tech plays because they attack the glass and their defense is very good and they are going to force you into some mistakes."
Jason Miller, part of the trio of Cowboys who patrol the paint, fouled out in the second half.
"I don't know what the deal was," Andre Williams said, "Me, Ivan (McFarlin) and Jason (Miller) having 14 fouls when 15 would have fouled us all three out. It was one of those nights, the referees were calling it real close inside."
"I think Bob — if he stays in good health — he in time will be the winningest coach to ever coach the game of basketball," Sutton said. "He is one of the great, great coaches we've had in the college game.
With its fifth conference win, OSU not only leads the Big 12 in winning percentage, but also still carries the longest winning-streak in the NCAA (14).
"What you have to be careful about in the league is that you win all the games you should win and then slip up on somebody like maybe we did today," Sutton said. "Because I'm not sure we could come in here and beat Tech as many times as they are gonna beat us."
Brandi Ball can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Up-to-date Cowboy basketball stats, via okstate.com: