STILLWATER, Oklahoma — Chris Beard always says that there are no easy games in the Big 12, and Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State was proof of that.
The last place Cowboys shocked Texas Tech 73-70, dropping the Red Raiders to 7-5 in Big 12 play and 16-9 overall.
The game was a back and forth affair. It remained close throughout and both teams had spurts in which they played well, and ones where they played poorly.
Oklahoma State took the lead with 1:13 left as Isaac Likekele stole the ball from Jahmi’us Ramsey in the backcourt and drew a foul, making both free throws to give the Cowboys a late lead.
Up one with 19 seconds left, Oklahoma State’s Jonathan Laurent split a pair of free throws and Chris Clarke went to the line at the other end, missing both.
Texas Tech had two last to tie the game, but Kyler Edwards was called for a lane violation on a missed free throw and Clarke’s long inbound pass with 1.3 seconds left was broken up.
The Cowboys maintained an advantage on the boards throughout the game. They kept possessions alive on the offensive glass, grabbing 15 offensive rebounds and out-rebounding Texas Tech by 15.
Oklahoma State scored the first eight points of the game, dominating on the offensive glass and playing good defense, but it didn’t take long for Texas Tech to get into a rhythm and make up that deficit.
Kyler Edwards, Jahmi’us Ramsey and Davide Moretti all made 3-pointers, and a Moretti floater gave the Red Raiders a lead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Texas Tech also settled in on defense, blocking shots, forcing jump balls and holding the Cowboys scoreless for a seven-minute stretch.
Oklahoma State rediscovered its offense before the end of the half, and the teams went back and forth. Kevin McCullar broke a tie with an alley-oop just before halftime.
McCullar had perhaps his best game of the season, tying for the team lead in points with 15 and adding five rebounds and three steals.
After suffering a concussion in Texas Tech’s last game, Terrence Shannon started Saturday. He didn’t score in the first half, and was replaced by McCullar at the start of the second half. Shannon did hit one 3 early in the second half, but didn’t play much.
Texas Tech shot the ball well from 3, making 10-23 on the game. Avery Benson and Moretti hit 3s in the second half to give the Red Raiders a seven-point lead with 12:49 remaining.
Still, Oklahoma State did not go away. They made six straight free throws to cut the lead to one. Free throws were a large part of Oklahoma State’s offense; the Cowboys made 31 on the game.
Oklahoma State regained the lead late in the second half, scoring on seven straight possessions. The Red Raiders could not keep the Cowboys out of the paint, as they passed the ball crisply and drove hard to get good looks.
The Cowboys executed better on both ends and in the rebounding battle in the second half, securing their upset win.