STILLWATER, Oklahoma — The second game between No. 18 Texas Tech and Oklahoma State this season was a lot like the first: a knock-down, drag-out, overtime battle. But at the end of both games, the Cowboys stood victorious.
Oklahoma State made clutch free throws in overtime and got a crucial stop to down Texas Tech 74-69.
The Red Raider loss dropped them to 6-7 in Big 12 play, setting them solidly behind Oklahoma State for seventh place in the conference standings. If that holds, they will have to play in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament, which is reserved for the bottom four teams in the regular season standings.
It took a wild sequence to even get the game into overtime.
Mac McClung drained two clutch, contested jump shots down the stretch, the second of which tied the game at 63 with 1:01 remaining. On OSU’s next possession, Avery Benson was called for a blocking foul that left some, including Patrick Mahomes, baffled.
Texas Tech got the ball back down by two points, and Mac McClung badly missed a 3-pointer. Terrence Shannon Jr. chased down the long rebound, and with just a few seconds remaining on the shot clock, fired a pass inside to Kyler Edwards, who snuck a game-tying layup in ahead of the buzzer.
In five minutes of overtime, Texas Tech managed just four points.
An acrobatic McClung layup brought the Red Raiders within one point of Oklahoma State with 29 seconds remaining in overtime. But Oklahoma State made two free throws to go up by three. Texas Tech’s sloppy final offensive possession included two desperate 3-point attempts, neither of which touched the rim.
Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham is considered to be the likely No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. He is a 6-foot-8 bundle of smooth ball handling, heady passing and effortless scoring, and that was all on display in a 13-point first half.
However Cunningham picked up his second, third and fourth fouls in the first four minutes of the second half, forcing OSU coach Mike Boynton to keep him on the bench until just more than 10 minutes remained in regulation.
Cunningham’s foul trouble played into a 10-0 Texas Tech run to start the second half, and the Red Raiders seemed primed to run away with the game when the momentum flipped 180 degrees into Oklahoma State’s direction.
Clarence Nadolny was whistled for a technical foul after expressing his displeasure with an out-of-bounds call. Avery Anderson made two free throws and then scored three straight baskets, drawing the Cowboys even with Texas Tech. A pair of Kalib Boone free throws gave OSU its first lead of the half.
Boone’s free throws were two of 32 that Oklahoma State shot on the day. Texas Tech shot 12. Chris Beard pointed that statistic out in his post-game press conference.
Shannon shot eight of those 12 Texas Tech free throws, and was aggressive offensively all night. He scored a team-high 18 points, and broke out some crafty moves to set up successful baseline jump shots.
Mac McClung was second on the team with 17 points. Kevin McCullar added 12 points and four steals, but turned the ball over five times.
The Red Raiders are now below .500 in Big 12 play, and have yet to figure out how to pull out close games. They are still likely to make the NCAA Tournament, but certainly have things to figure out as March Madness nears.