Laurent, Boone lead Oklahoma State past No. 24 Texas Tech
The Associated Press - February 17, 2020 9:15 am
CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) – Oklahoma State wore throwback uniforms and got old-school results.
The Cowboys honored their 1995 Final Four team with both their look and performance on Saturday. Jonathan Laurent and Kalib Boone each scored 16 points, and Oklahoma State beat No. 24 Texas Tech 73-70 for its first win over a ranked opponent this season.
Former Oklahoma State stars Bryant Reeves and Randy Rutherford and their coach, Eddie Sutton were among those honored at halftime. Current Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton talked with members of the 1995 squad on Friday.
“I told those guys that we were going to play this game in a way that would make them proud,” Boynton said.
Sutton is once again up for possible induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Texas Tech wore t-shirts honoring Sutton during warmups. The shirts said “Hall of Fame” on the front and “Coach Sutton” and “806,” for his career win total, on the back.
“It’s one small way that we can show respect for one of the greatest coaches who has ever coached our game,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said.
Isaac Likekele added 14 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Cowboys (13-12, 3-9 Big 12), who have won three of four after dropping their first eight conference games.
The Cowboys said they remained confident after their recent struggles because they remembered what it took to open the season with seven straight wins.
“We knew the type of team we were, we just had to find the spark again and start playing like we did at the beginning of the season,” Laurent said.
Kevin McCullar and Davide Moretti each scored 15 points and Jahmi’us Ramsey added 14 for Texas Tech (16-9, 7-5), which had won its previous three games.
The Cowboys scored the first eight points and held the Red Raiders scoreless for more than four minutes at the start. Boone rose up and threw down a vicious one-handed jam on a lob from Likekele to put Oklahoma State up 20-17.
Tech responded, and a lob from Kyler Edwards for a layup by McCullar with a second left in the first half put the Red Raiders up 29-27 at the break.
The game was close throughout the second half. Oklahoma State led 71-69 when Tech’s Chris Clarke was fouled with 7.4 seconds remaining. Clarke, a 71.4 % free-throw shooter, missed both, and Likekele rebounded. Likekele was fouled and made the first but missed the second free throw. That gave Tech another chance, trailing by three.
Oklahoma State fouled Tech’s Kyler Edwards with 2.5 seconds left. Edwards made the first free throw. He missed the second intentionally, but the Red Raiders committed a lane violation.
Boone was fouled on Oklahoma State’s long inbound throw. He missed the first free throw and made the second with 1.9 seconds left to put the Cowboys up by three.
Oklahoma State’s Lindy Waters stole a long inbound pass to allow the Cowboys to hold on.
Beard said it was a feather in Boynton’s cap to get the Cowboys to show signs of a turnaround after that rough mid-season stretch.
“You learn a lot about a guy’s character and toughness when his back is against the wall,” Beard said. “This is three of the last four games they’ve won; the only loss in that stretch was a one-possession game at Baylor. That’s the mark of a team that has a lot of heart and character.”
Texas Tech: This loss could cost the Red Raiders dearly when it comes time for NCAA Tournament seeds. The Red Raiders fell to 2-4 on the road in league play.
Oklahoma State: This was the biggest win of the season for the Cowboys, and it comes after they already had built some momentum. The Cowboys might be a spoiler down the stretch.
HE SAID IT
Laurent on the throwback uniforms: “These are unbelievable. I always say, you look good, you play good. You won’t get no better than this.”
Eddie Sutton’s son, Sean, is an executive advisor to Texas Tech coach Chris Beard. Another son, Scott, is an assistant at Oklahoma State.
The Red Raiders likely will drop out of the Top 25 after this loss.
Texas Tech: Hosts Kansas State on Wednesday. The Red Raiders won the first meeting 77-63 on Jan. 14.
Oklahoma State: Visits No. 14 West Virginia on Tuesday. The Cowboys lost to the Mountaineers 55-41 on Jan. 6 and made just 1 of 20 3-pointers.