LUBBOCK, Texas — It took 45 minutes of hard-fought basketball, but Oklahoma State pulled off an 82-77 overtime upset of No. 13 Texas Tech in Lubbock Saturday.
The Red Raiders battled back from an 11-point deficit in the second half and took a lead towards the end of regulation, but timely fouls allowed the win to slip out of their hands.
With Oklahoma State down three points, Kevin McCullar bit on a Cade Cunningham pump fake and fouled the freshman on a 3-pointer. Cunningham made all three free throws to tie the game with 27 seconds remaining. On Texas Tech’s final possession of regulation, Kyler Edwards was whistled for an illegal screen.
After a Mac McClung 3-pointer kicked off overtime, it was all Oklahoma State. With 2:15 remaining in the game, OSU’s Keylan Boone outmuscled Marcus Santos-Silva for an offensive rebound and converted both ends of an and-one.
On the ensuing possession, Bryce Williams picked off a McClung pass for an uncontested dunk, giving the Pokes a six-point lead that they would hold for the rest of the evening.
McCullar and Kyler Edwards each missed two free throws in overtime, hindering Texas Tech’s attempt to tie the game.
The Red Raiders took Oklahoma State’s best punch early in the game. The Cowboys came out of the gates hot from outside, and three Bryce Williams 3-pointers catapulted them to a 22-10 lead.
TTU drew closer with improved defense and 3-pointers. Two Kyler Edwards triples kept the Red Raiders in the game, and McClung’s second 3-ball of the half brought them within three points.
Texas Tech’s output inside the arc was more concerning. The Red Raiders shot just 3-15 on 2-pointers in the first half, finding it difficult to get shots near the rim.
Part of that was due to strong transition defense by the Pokes. Texas Tech is normally adept at turning defense into offense and running for easy shots, but was held without any fast break points Saturday.
After McClung’s 3-pointer cut OSU’s lead to 26-23 with 6:26 remaining, Texas Tech made just one more field goal before halftime. Going into the break, the Cowboys led 37-28.
Oklahoma State did its damage without much production from superstar freshman Cade Cunninham. The potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft fouled out in overtime with 13 points, six below his regular season average.
However, the Cowboys have a deep stable of guards, and others picked up Cunningham’s slack. Williams’ 3-pointers put them ahead early, and the physical play of Avery Anderson and Isaac Likekele turned into quality shots at the rim. Those three guards combined to score 49 points.
Likekele was particularly physical going against the smaller McClung.
Against an Oklahoma State defense determined not to give up layups, it was Texas Tech’s jumpshooters — Edwards and McClung — that got the lion’s share of shots. McClung paced the team in scoring with 21 points and Edwards followed with 18.
The team played more fluid offense and tougher defense in the second half, and likely would’ve pulled out the game if not for the two key fouls at the end of regulation.
McCullar, who committed one of those fouls, played 31 minutes and drew the Cunningham assignment for much of the game.
Chris Beard likes to call the Big 12 slate an 18-round fight. Texas Tech has gone blow-for-blow with its opponent in each of the first three rounds, but finds itself 1-2.
To finish near the top of the conference, the Red Raiders will have to pull out close games like the one they lost Saturday.