Oklahoma State (18-8, 4-6 Big 12) came out guns blazing in Saturday evening's 82-75 win over West Virginia (18-5, 6-4 Big 12). Junior forward Jeffrey Carroll made his presence felt early and scored 13 of the Cowboys' first 15 points as the Cowboys jumped out to a 15-4 lead in front of a stunned Coliseum crowd. The Mountaineers got it going, however, and reserves Tarik Phillip, Teyvon Myers and Lamont West provided a big spark off of the bench.
That spark led to an 8-0 West Virginia run that cut the deficit to 15-12 and brought the home crowd to its feet, but the Cowboys were unfazed. Oklahoma State continued to shoot lights out from behind the arc, starting the game 5-for-5 form three and battling close to even with the Mountaineers for the next few minutes of play. West Virginia clawed back and took its first lead thanks to the shooting of Lamont West. The freshman small forward hit five of West Virginia's six first half three pointers and had already registered a career-high by the end of the first half. West's shooting kept the Mountaineers in the game and in the lead for the final minutes of a highly entertaining first half that saw West Virginia enter the lockerroom up 44-40.
The offensive fireworks continued in half number two as both teams traded a number of buckets throughout the first several minutes, but the Cowboys went on the first run. Oklahoma State seemingly got whatever they wanted in the paint in an 8-0 run and took a 59-55 lead with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the contest. The Mountaineers kept fighting though minutes later and Lamont West made two free throws and immediately completed a four point play with 6:40 remaining to give West Virginia a 64-61 lead.
That was the final lead the Mountaineers held in the game. The momentum quickly shifted when Bob Huggins was assessed a foul for falling to the ground after a questionable charging call on West. Forte then hit both free throws that gave the Cowboys a 66-64 lead. Oklahoma State eventually pushed its lead out to seven and continued to hit free throws down the stretch (the Cowboys finished 24-27 from the charity stripe on the night) and controlled the game's final minutes, earning an 82-75 win and its fifth victory in a row.
The Cowboys out-rebounded West Virginia 30-16, shot 62.5 percent from the field and the trio of Phil Forte, Jeffrey Carroll and Juwan Evans combined for 51 points. For the Mountaineers, it seemed as if Tarik Phillip and Lamont West were the only consistent offensive threats as West ended his day with six three-pointers and 21 points and Phillip chipped in 15.
The sting of this loss hurts a little more when you factor in the fact that both Kansas and Baylor lost earlier in the day, meaning West Virginia would have been one game out of first place in the Big 12 and controlled its own fate.