No. 6 Oklahoma St. 69, Iowa St. 66
Saturday, January 12th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
AMES, Iowa (AP) _ Oklahoma State did just enough to win a tough game with Iowa State.
Ivan McFarlin led a balanced offense with 16 points and the sixth-ranked Cowboys withstood a career-high 30 points from Tyray Pearson to beat Iowa State 69-66 Saturday.
The Cowboys (15-1, 2-1 Big 12) held on at the end after leading by 10 points with less than eight minutes to play and weren't assured of winning until thwarting Iowa State's attempt for a last-second 3-point shot.
``I don't think we played well at the end of the game to close it out the way we wanted to,'' said Victor Williams, whose quick hands helped prevent Iowa State from getting its potential game-tying shot. ``But you've got to win the ugly ones, too.''
Oklahoma State trailed by as many as seven points before scoring 10 straight late in the first half to take the lead for good, and the Cowboys went on to break Iowa State's 19-game conference winning streak at home.
``I told our team Oklahoma State did just what it took and no more to put you away,'' Iowa State coach Larry Eustachy said. ``They just dropped you off on the curb and you were a cheap date. They just sent you home early. If we would have given them more, they would have geared it up more.''
Pearson, coming off his previous high of 28 points in an upset of No. 17 Missouri on Wednesday, made a layup with 52 seconds left to draw Iowa State to 69-65. After Oklahoma State squandered two chances to extend the lead, the Cyclones' Jake Sullivan went to the line for two free throws with 3.7 seconds left.
Sullivan made the first and intentionally missed the second. Pearson swatted the ball toward the 3-point line, but Williams poked it away and Iowa State's Shane Power was beyond midcourt by the time he ran it down. His desperation heave came after the buzzer, and Iowa State lost a Big 12 game at home for the first time since a 77-61 setback to Missouri on Feb. 8, 1999.
``I was just trying to get the ball and throw it up and hope it goes in,'' Power said.
Eustachy defended his decision to miss the free throw instead of trying to make it and then foul. He said the Cowboys probably would have gotten the ball to Williams and he would have made two free throws to put it out of reach.
``I thought it was our best chance to win the game,'' Eustachy said. ``Tip it out, shoot a 3 and go overtime.''
Oklahoma State, leading the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense, held Iowa State to 38.5 shooting in the second half after the Cyclones shot 56.5 percent in the first half.
Williams and Maurice Baker each added 13 points for Oklahoma State and Fredrik Jonzen scored 11.
Sullivan finished with 16 and Power had 12.
``Every one we've ever played here, we haven't won them all, but boy, there's been some close games here,'' Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said. ``Once we got that big lead, we took probably a couple of shots you'd just as soon not take. We're just happy to get out of here with a win.''
Leading 30-26, Iowa State turned the ball over on five straight possessions and Oklahoma State scored after each one in taking a 36-30 lead. Williams made two steals during that stretch, one leading to a layup by McFarlin and the other setting up two free throws by McFarlin.
``That's the way you'd like to play defense all the time,'' Sutton said. ``I thought during that one stretch, our defense forced a lot of errors and we played with a lot of passion.''
Iowa State drew within two points early in the second half before Oklahoma State began pulling away, building a 60-50 lead on Andre Williams' basket inside with 8:50 left.
Power scored on a drive to pull Iowa State to 67-61, but Victor Williams hit a jumper over Sullivan for a 69-61 lead, giving the Cowboys the cushion they needed to hold on.