LUBBOCK (AP) – Oklahoma State kept its focus keen in downing Texas Tech 80-63 on Tuesday night, missing just two free throws out of 35 attempts.
The Cowboys won their first road game in 15 tries while still dealing with the loss of two players with leg injuries — Jean-Paul Olukemi (ACL tear) and Philip Jurick (foot).
Cowboys coach Travis Ford said the strong performance from the free-throw line benefited his players in two ways.
“We got to the foul line when we needed to, which helped slow down a few of those runs, and helped us rest too, which we needed,” he said. “It wasn’t as much about Xs and Os as it was about playing hard, keep playing, don’t worry about the score, do the things you can control, and our guys did a good job of that. They stay focused, and free-throw shooting, I think, was a result of that.”
Markel Brown scored a career-high 30 points to lead Oklahoma State. Brown had 19 in the 76-61 loss at Texas A&M on Saturday.
“Just going out being aggressive,” Brown said of how his scoring has climbed. “… a torn ACL in Jean-Paul, so we needed players to step up, and I feel like I can do that.”
The sophomore went 7 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc, and didn’t miss any of his 13 free-throw attempts.
Le’Bryan Nash scored 16 points for the Cowboys (11-11, 4-5 Big 12).
Keiton Page and Cezar Guerrero missed the only free throws in the game for the Cowboys.
Jaye Crockett scored 16 points and Robert Lewandowski added 14 for the Red Raiders (7-14, 0-9), who tied their worst start in conference play since 2000.
The win broke a 14-game conference road skid for Oklahoma State.
The Red Raiders appeared a step too slow when the Cowboys were on offense and drew fouls because of it.
Nash made nine free throw attempts for OSU, which is fourth in the conference in free-throw percentage, and Michael Cobbins hit four.
Down by 10 at halftime, Texas Tech opened the second half on a 7-3 run to pull within 48-42.
But Brown hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cap a 10-2 run for the Cowboys for a 58-44 lead with about 13 minutes remaining. The Red Raiders answered with a 10-4 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Javares Willis with 8:30 remaining, to pull within 62-54. But that’s as close as the Red Raiders got down the stretch.
Texas Tech couldn’t put together consecutive scoring possessions, which made cutting the deficit difficult.
The Cowboys got 21 points off the Red Raiders’ 12 turnovers.
“You have to adjust as the game goes on, and we didn’t adjust very well,” Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie said. “And then we just made too many dumb plays, I mean just dumb plays. I’m trying to bite my tongue as much as possible, but, man alive, just so many dumb plays.”
The Cowboys beat the Red Raiders 67-59 in Stillwater, Okla., earlier in January.
Oklahoma State led 45-35 at halftime, getting 15 points off of Texas Tech’s eight first-half turnovers. One of those turnovers led to Nash passing the ball off the glass to Brown, who trailed him on a fast break and finished the play with a dunk to make it 22-14 and cap a 13-4 run.
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