No. 14 Oklahoma St. 64, No. 24 Texas Tech 62

Thursday, February 7th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma State was struggling again on offense, trailed by 12 with seven minutes left and had lost its best player with an injury.

Perfect time for a game-saving rally.

The 14th-ranked Cowboys used a press to come up with turnovers and quick baskets and, with Maurice Baker out with an ankle sprain, surged past No. 24 Texas A&M 64-62 Wednesday night.

The game-winner came on a putback by reserve forward Terrence Crawford with 5.3 seconds remaining. It gave the Cowboys (18-5, 5-5 Big 12) a victory they sorely needed, since they had lost two straight and four of six.

``It's a big game because we needed to turn the tide, the way we've been playing,'' coach Eddie Sutton said. ``I'm not saying we're going to go back next week and play a lot better, but everybody feels better about themselves after we won tonight.''

The Cowboys felt good early on, when they made 10 of 11 shots during one stretch to take a 22-12 lead. But after making 11 field goals in the first 8:20, they made just four during the next 17 minutes and Texas Tech (16-5, 5-4) took control.

Behind the trio of Andre Emmett, Kasib Powell and Andy Ellis, the Red Raiders turned the early 10-point deficit into a 35-32 halftime lead. Then they outscored the Cowboys 10-0 at the start of the second half.

All Oklahoma State had going for it was Baker, its leading scorer and best player. The Cowboys missed their first eight shots, several of them from in close, before Baker scored 11 straight points to keep the Cowboys from getting blown out.

Tech led 53-38 with 12 minutes remaining and led 55-43 when Baker came down wrong on his right foot after driving through the lane for a shot.

``It looked like we were really in trouble,'' Sutton said. ``But the press got us back in the game, we loosened up offensively and we were able to hit some shots.''

After Emmett, who scored 29, made a basket to make the score 57-47 with 6:02 to play, the Cowboys ran off 12 straight to take a 59-57 lead. The Red Raiders had three turnovers and missed two shots during that time.

``We've had a problem all year long in several different games where we've gotten a lead and then it's like, 'Well, this game's over,' '' coach Bob Knight said. ``It's like we're bringing Randy Johnson in to pitch for the last three outs, and that just doesn't happen.''

Two free throws by Emmett with 3:04 remaining tied it at 59, and a free throw by Andy Ellis gave the Red Raiders a 60-59 lead with 2:14 to play.

Williams then hit a free throw and followed that with a layup off another Tech turnover, making it 62-60. Powell, who scored 17, tied it again with a jumper with 29.8 to play.

After a timeout, Williams got an open jumper from the left wing. The ball hit the front of the rim and Crawford was there to drop it back in.

``I just went and tried to get a tip-in because I knew it might come off short,'' Crawford said.

Knight opted not to use a timeout, and Will Chavis' 15-footer in traffic at the other end came up short and set off a players' celebration on the court.

``Every mistake we made, they took advantage of,'' Knight said.

Emmett, Powell and Ellis, who scored 13, combined for all but three of the Red Raiders' points. But aside from Powell's late jumper, the three were shut out in the final six minutes.

``You guys are always looking for some reason,'' Knight said when asked about that. ``There isn't a reason. We missed some shots, we turned the ball over. There wasn't anything that is Machiavellian about getting beat.''