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Cowboys suffer second costly home loss


STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ What has always been one of the most intimidating home courts in the Big 12 hasn't been much help to Oklahoma State lately.

The 16th-ranked Cowboys were beaten at home Monday night by Texas Tech after building a 13-point first-half lead. Only nine days earlier, they lost at home to Baylor _ a team that hadn't won on an opponent's court in two years.

If Oklahoma State had been able to protect its home turf, the Cowboys would be in first place in the conference. Instead, they are 20-6 overall, 9-4 in the Big 12 and have seen their conference title chances all but disappear.

``Disappointing loss,'' coach Eddie Sutton said after the 62-57 setback against Texas Tech, a team OSU had beaten in Lubbock.

The Cowboys played well in the first half and led 29-16 before settling for an 11-point halftime lead. They led by 12 early in the second half, then Texas Tech used a 16-3 run to take a 39-38 lead.

It was a one-point game with just under 2 minutes to play but Oklahoma State didn't score after that and Tech came away with the upset.

The Cowboys, who have lost five of their past eight games, played sloppily in the second half, committing five turnovers during one five-minute stretch. They finished with 15.

``I thought we were careless with the basketball, just dumb turnovers,'' Sutton said. ``We didn't read the defense well. Probably five or six of those turnovers weren't the result of the defense, they were just carelessness on our part.''

Oklahoma State missed some easy shots _ Cheyne Gadson made a beautiful move on a drive to the basket, then blew the layup _ and had some silly mistakes. On a fastbreak layup by Victor Williams, the ball hung on the rim and eventually fell through, but the basket was waved off because Tony Allen grabbed the rim.

The Cowboys made 11 3-pointers in a victory over then-No. 3 Texas on Saturday, but they were just 3-of-14 from long range against Tech.

When Oklahoma State was able to force turnovers, the result was easy transition baskets. But that didn't happen often in the second half and, when they were left to generate points in halfcourt sets, the Cowboys usually came up empty.

Williams was 2-of-12 from the field. Melvin Sanders was 2-of-9 and Allen 5-of-13 as the Cowboys shot 38.6 percent.

``If you can't score inside, it's tough if you don't get points in transition off your defense and if you're not hitting some shots out on the floor,'' Sutton said. ``Our inside game is nonexistent since Ivan's kind of gone into a funk.''

Center Ivan McFarlin is in the midst of a tailspin that Sutton labeled ``baffling.'' The 6-foot-9 McFarlin had just three rebounds against Texas Tech, his 10th straight game without reaching double digits in that category.

``I don't know what's wrong with him,'' Sutton said. ``He's a wonderful young man, but he just hasn't played with the same firepower, the same enthusiasm, that he used to play with.

``He's just not as active as he was. We thought there might be something wrong with him physically and we had a series of tests, and they said he's as healthy as can be.''
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