Oklahoma's upset bid comes up short in Stillwater

Oklahoma guard Drew Lavender shoots over Oklahoma State guard JamesOn Curry in the first half of the Cowboys' 79-67 win over the Sooners Monday night in Stillwater. Curry and senior forward Joey Graham led all scorers with 22 points apiece. With the loss Oklahoma falls to 17-5 overall and into fourth place in Big 12 play at 6-3. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)

What a difference 14 days makes. Two weeks ago Oklahoma dismantled Oklahoma State in Norman, but Monday night in Stillwater the Cowboys returned the favor.

Taj Gray and Kevin Bookout combined for 29 points and 18 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the 10th-ranked Cowboys stretched the nation's longest home winning streak to 27 games in their 79-67 win over No. 18 Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State jumped out to a 35-33 halftime edge and then pushed the lead to 57-47 with 9:48 to go after two Ivan McFarlin free throws. Oklahoma battled back with a 9-4 run to cut the Cowboys' lead to 60-56 with 7:15 left, but that would be as close as the Sooners would get.

On OSU's next possession, senior guard John Lucas made a 3-pointer with six seconds left on the shot clock that ignited a 7-0 run Oklahoma would never recover from.

"It's a four-point game, 60-56. We get a good defensive stand and the ball goes out of bounds, and then Lucas runs to the corner and makes a three. I thought that was a huge play in the game," said Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson, who is now 2-9 in Stillwater.

"There was a lot of good things our there tonight. We had our chances to win the game in the second half, but we just didn't make the plays. Turnovers and stops — those are the two things that hurt us. You better not turn it over and you better get stops."

The Sooners seemingly did everything right but take care of the ball and make free throws. OU outrebounded the Cowboys 27-25 and shot 53.7 percent (29-54) from the field to OSU's 52.9 percent (30-57).

However, Oklahoma turned the ball over 15 times, two of which came on back-to-back possessions that helped aid OSU's 7-0 run that put the game away. The Sooners once again struggled from the free throw line and shooting 41.7 percent (5-12), while the Cowboys were 11-for-15 from the charity stripe.

"We had our chances," Sampson said. "The free throws hurt us in the second half, and then Oklahoma State, give them some credit, hit some tough shots. JamesOn Curry was good all night."

Curry, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Mebane, N.C., and senior forward Joey Graham led the Cowboys with 22 points each. Curry scored 12 of his 22 in the first half and finished 9-for-13 from the field.

Bookout led the Sooners with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Gray chipped in 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

Lawrence McKenzie, who came off the bench to finish with 13 points, kept the Sooners in the game early with 10 first-half points. Terrell Everett also finished in double figures with 12 points.

"I thought we took a step forward in some ways tonight, but when we have a chance to win a game like this on the road you've got to make the plays," said Sampson.

"That means don't turn it over, make free throws and get stops. We got it down to four in the second half, but just couldn't get over the hump."

With the loss, the Sooners fall to 17-5 overall and into fourth place in Big 12 play at 6-3. The Cowboys, now 18-3 overall, moved into sole possession of second place in the conference play at 8-2. Oklahoma still leads the all-time series 119-87.

Up next for the Sooners is another road test this Saturday against Missouri in Columbia. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

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