Texas Tech forward Zach Smith, right, watches as guard Keenan Evans, left, knocks the ball from Oklahoma State guard Jeff Newberry in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
Brody Schmidt
February 20, 2016

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Texas Tech's Toddrick Gotcher couldn't remember many occasions in which he had shot so well.

Teammate Matthew Temple recalled seeing it before.

''Every day in practice,'' Temple said.

Gotcher scored 21 of his career-high 24 points in the second half to help Texas Tech defeat Oklahoma State 71-61 Saturday night for its fourth straight win.

Gotcher, a senior guard who had scored double-digit points in just two of his previous 11 games, made 6 of 7 shots in the second half, including 4 of 5 3-pointers, to spark the Red Raiders (17-9, 7-7 Big 12). He scored more points in the second half than he had in any previous full game.

''I think my teammates really put me in the right positions,'' he said. ''The screening was wonderful. All the bigs and the guards, and just moving the ball around - it was good to see.''

Aaron Ross had 12 points and nine rebounds and Temple matched a season high with 11 points for Tech, which continued to improve its case for an NCAA Tournament bid. The Red Raiders were coming off consecutive victories over Top 25 squads Iowa State, Baylor and Oklahoma. Coach Tubby Smith liked the way his team handled being the favorite after playing so well as an underdog.

''It's a good win, momentum-builder for us, coming off some good wins in the Big 12, and to continue validating those wins by getting a win tonight is certainly an outstanding accomplishment by these young men,'' Smith said.

Jeff Newberry scored 16 points and Leyton Hammonds added 15 for Oklahoma State (12-15, 3-11), which has lost seven of nine. The Cowboys made 14 of 30 3-pointers to stay close, but Texas Tech outscored Oklahoma State 21-5 at the free-throw line.

Oklahoma State made four of its first six 3-pointers to jump to a 16-11 lead, but Texas Tech rallied to tie it at 29 by halftime. Oklahoma State made 7 of 18 3s in the first half, but Tech countered by shooting 48 percent before the break.

The Red Raiders created some space in the opening minutes of the second half when Gotcher made three 3-pointers in an 80-second span to put Tech up 40-33.

The Cowboys rallied and cut their deficit to 42-41 before the Red Raiders went on a 7-0 run to regain control.

Texas Tech shot 55 percent from the field in the second half.

''Our defense really let us down tonight, especially in the second half,'' Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. ''The percentages, the number of points, those are not good numbers, you're going to come up on the wrong side of the stick with those type numbers. Really disappointed in how we played defense.''

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TIP-INS

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders' win over No. 3 Oklahoma on Wednesday was their first over a Top 5 opponent since beating No. 5 Texas in 2008. ... Temple reached double figures in points for just the second time this season.

Oklahoma State: Ford said point guard Jawun Evans is out for the season with a shoulder injury, and surgery might be required. The freshman scored 42 points in a loss to Oklahoma last month. It was the fifth consecutive game Evans missed.

STAT LINES

Both teams committed three turnovers and collected 16 rebounds in the first half.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

Oklahoma State made just 7 of 24 shots inside the 3-point line.

''That's who we are right now,'' Ford said. ''At halftime, we talked a lot about going inside, we had to get paint touches, and I thought we did a good job. We played inside out. If we're going to shoot 3s inside out, I'll live with that.''

UP NEXT

Texas Tech hosts TCU on Tuesday.

Oklahoma State plays at Oklahoma on Wednesday.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.

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