No. 2 Oklahoma holds off Oklahoma State 74-72
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma now knows what Kansas must have felt like after their thriller last week.
In that game, Oklahoma's Buddy Hield scored 46 points, but Kansas got the win in triple overtime.
This time, Oklahoma State's Jawun Evans scored 42, but No. 2 Oklahoma held on for a 74-72 victory on Wednesday night.
''Winning Big 12 games on the road is never easy, so we feel great,'' Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. ''We didn't feel great necessarily about a lot of plays we made, but winning road games in the Big 12 - we'll never get tired of that.''
Hield scored 26 points this time for the Sooners (14-1, 3-1 Big 12), but he committed 10 turnovers, including a crucial one that gave Oklahoma State a chance to win. Jeffrey Carroll missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer for the Cowboys as time expired.
''I thought I had a good look,'' Carroll said. ''I thought I should have made it. It took a little bounce off the glass, and I thought it was going to go in after that little bounce, but it just rolled off. You can't really control it after that.''
Evans' point total was an Oklahoma State (9-7, 1-3) record for a freshman and matched the third-most points in school history. He made 18 of 31 shots and doubled his season high point total for the Cowboys. He had been hesitant to take over as a scorer before Wednesday's game.
''It was just that kind of game,'' he said. ''I started off hitting shots - usually, I start off kind of slow, but this game I started off hitting shots, getting to the basket, so it just triggered on to the second half. ''
The final minute was a whirlwind. Evans made a layup to cut Oklahoma's lead to 74-71, then Jeff Newberry stole the ball from Hield, who fouled Evans with 3 seconds left. Evans made the first free throw and missed the second, and Oklahoma State got possession with 0.8 seconds left to set up Carroll's miss.
Oklahoma is in position to move up to No. 1 after top-ranked Kansas lost at West Virginia on Tuesday night. The Sooners host No. 11 West Virginia on Saturday.
The Sooners made 9 of 16 3-pointers to lead 43-31 at halftime. Hield scored 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting. Evans scored 19 points in the first half.
A powerful baseline jam by Carroll cut Oklahoma's lead to 10 early in the second half and brought the crowd back into the game. A dunk by Newberry cut it to eight, and a layup by Evans made it a six-point game and forced Oklahoma to call timeout. The Cowboys trimmed it to four before Oklahoma regained its footing. A 7-0 run, highlighted by a banked 3-pointer by Ryan Spangler, put the Sooners up by 11.
Oklahoma State made another run to make it a game in the final minute. Hield felt his mistakes helped the Cowboys stay in the game.
''I've just got to go and stop playing with the ball,'' he said. ''I played with the ball too much earlier, and I've just got to be smarter, just make aggressive plays and hit open guys when I have them.''
Evans fell just short of the Oklahoma opponent record. Cliff Meely of Colorado scored 46 against the Sooners on February 15, 1971. ... Newberry had a career-high six steals. ... Oklahoma State shot 51 percent in the second half.
Ford, on Evans: ''He's a special player. He's got a great feel for the game, a feel and understanding of the game - when to drive, when to pull up, when to shoot the floater, when to shoot a 3, when to pass. I think you saw it all.''
ON THE RISE
Oklahoma State F Chris Olivier scored 12 points after scoring in single digits in nine of the previous 10 games.
Oklahoma: Jordan Woodard made 3 of 4 3-pointers in the first half. ... Hield made 10 of 17 shots, including 6 of 12 3-pointers. ... Woodard scored 17 points and Isaiah Cousins added 12 for the Sooners. ... Khadeem Lattin had nine points and eight rebounds.
Oklahoma State: Cowboys still are without Phil Forte, who has missed most of the season with an elbow injury. The team captain was fourth in the Big 12 with 15 points per game last season. ... Evans made 8 of 13 shots in the first half. The rest of his team made 5 of 17. ... Oklahoma State went 4 for 9 from the free-throw line in the second half.
Oklahoma: Hosts West Virginia on Saturday.
Oklahoma State: At Texas on Saturday.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.