Oklahoma State Outlasts Nebraska to Advance

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:15 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Mar 9, 2011 2:23 PM CDT

Layna Dewell
Oklahoma Sports Staff

KANSAS CITY, Missouri—The Oklahoma State Cowboys clung to a one point lead to outlast Nebraska 53-52 in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament.

The No. 8 ranked Cowboys (19-12) got out to an early lead thanks to above average three-point shooting that ignited off of a three pointer by senior Nick Sidorakis just seven seconds into the game.

The Huskers (19-12) answered on its first possession on a field goal by Jorge Brian Diaz.

In the first five minutes of the game Oklahoma State went five-for-five from the three point line and added two other three-point plays to go up 15-7.

Reger Dowell, who did not play in OSU’s matchup against Nebraska earlier this season, started the game off with six points in the first five minutes.

The Cowboys went up by 12 at the 11:41 mark thanks to a three pointer by Oklahoma native Keiton Page, but that would be that last bucket for a while.

Oklahoma State went nearly 10 minutes without a field goal until Page sank a jumper with 1:44 left in the half.

From the time when Page hit the three at 11:41 to the halftime break, Oklahoma State scored a mere six points, four of which were off of free throws, while Nebraska scored a total of 10 points.

At the break, Oklahoma State held a 30-21 advantage over the Huskers thanks to OSU’s 45.4 percent field goal shooting and 50 percent shooting from behind the arc.

Nebraska shot 2-of-20 in the last ten minutes of the first half and was held to 22.6 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from the three point land.

Despite the deficit, Nebraska came out in the second half and picked up the pace.

By the 17 minute mark, the Huskers had cut the lead to five points thanks to a jumper by Brandon Ubel and two aggressive layups by Lance Jeter.

Toney McCray brought Nebraska the closest it had been in the whole game on a layup at 15:25 to cut it to 34-32.

Oklahoma State’s flow and intensity was seemingly gone early on in the second half as Nebraska use its energy to go on an 18-8 run in the first nine minutes of the second half.

With 14:15 left to play, Nebraska sophomore Brandon Ubel tied the game at 34 on a big time layup for the Huskers.

But the sophomore wasn’t done there, Nebraska took its first lead of the game on a three-pointer by Ubel to make it 39-38 with just over 11 minutes left to play.

OSU freshman Markel Brown put the Pokes back on top with a layup at the 9:58 mark and the game would be tight all the way down to the wire.

With just under nine minutes left to play senior Lance Jeter hit a three for Nebraska followed by a McCray who also hit a three to go up 44-42.

But OSU’s fighting spirit took over when Page hit back-to-back threes off of solid screens by Matt Pilgrim to put OSU back on top 50-48.

From the time Page hit the first of those three’s at the 4:50 mark, Oklahoma State went on a 9-3 run to close out the game.

With one minute to play and possession of the ball, Oklahoma State allowed the shot clock to tick down to five before Page drove the lane and threw up a shot.

Marshall Moses was called for an over-the-back foul on the play which sent Jeter to the line for a one-and-one opportunity.

Jeter made both free throws and Nebraska immediately fouled OSU, sending Brown to the line where he made both shots to make it 53-50 OSU.

After timeouts by both teams, Nebraska’s McCray slam dunked a pass from Brandon Richardson to cut the lead back to one point.

Oklahoma State inbounded the ball to Page, who is a 90 percent free throw shooter and because of that, Nebraska hesitated to foul him, but eventually did with 16 seconds left.

Surprisingly, Page missed the front end of that one-and-one opportunity and Nebraska called another timeout.

With just seconds left, Jeter dribbled down the court but lost his footing and turned the ball over giving the Cowboys the one point advantage.

Page finished with 16 points, one rebound and one assist while Moses added 10 points Pilgrim pulled down an impressive 12 rebounds.

The loss is the third one-point loss of the season for Nebraska who falls to 19-12 on the year.

The Huskers were led by Jeter who totaled 17 points, four rebounds and four assists on the day. Ubel and McCray each added 11 points and six rebounds a piece.

OSU will now face the seven- time Big 12 Champion and No. 1 ranked Kansas Jayhawks Thursday at 11:30 a.m.