Oklahoma State holds off Missouri, 74-72 in OT
KANSAS CITY (AP) - Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford leveled a challenge to his team after a sluggish first half.
Phil Forte III and Le'Bryan Nash took it to heart.
The veteran duo proceeded to score 21 points apiece, including all 12 of the Cowboys' points in overtime, lifting them to a 74-72 victory over Missouri on Tuesday night in a matchup of former Big 12 rivals.
"We looked like we were in mud the first half, couldn't get any flow, no momentum, anything going. It was like pulling teeth," Ford said. "Got a little upset and the guys responded."
Anthony Hickey Jr. also had 12 points for the Cowboys (10-2), who rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit and then had to withstand the Tigers' own feverish comebacks.
Missouri (5-7) had a chance to take the lead late in overtime, but Tramaine Isabell - whose 3-pointer with 2-tenths of a second left forced the extra session - turned the ball over.
Nash made two fouls shots with 5.4 seconds to go, and Oklahoma State fouled to prevent the Tigers from getting off another tying 3. Johnathan Williams III made the first of two free throws with 3 seconds left, and missed the second intentionally. The ball was gathered in by the Tigers, and freshman D'Angelo Allen had a clean look at the basket as the buzzer sounded.
His tying floater bounced over the rim and harmlessly to the floor
Williams finished with 22 points and nine rebounds for the Tigers. Montaque Gill-Caesar added 15 points and Wes Clark had 12 before fouling out.
"Just need to get over the hump," said Missouri coach Kim Anderson, whose team was coming off a buzzer-beating loss to border rival Illinois. "We've had two really good games. Just haven't been able to finish them off."
Oklahoma State had a chance to put the game away in regulation.
The Cowboys were clinging to a 61-59 lead and the Tigers inbounding under their own basket with 8.8 seconds left when Clark's pass was intercepted. Missouri quickly fouled Oklahoma State guard Christien Sager, but he could only make the first of two free throws.
Missouri gathered the rebound off the miss and Isabell raced up court, unloading a tying 3-pointer that splashed through to force overtime.
"If there was anybody to take that last shot, it was Tramaine," Gill-Caesar said.
It was the first meeting between longtime league rivals since 2012, when they met in the same building in the Big 12 tournament. The Tigers won that game in a rout.
It was evident early that nobody was going to run away with things Tuesday night.
Both teams got off to sluggish post-holiday starts, and Missouri's only field goal through the first 8 minutes came on a thunderous putback dunk by freshman forward Jakeenan Gant.
Eventually, the Tigers were able to capitalize on the Cowboys' frigid outside shooting, going on a 10-0 run late in the first half. Gant's basket with 4:41 left gave Missouri a 27-17 lead.
The Tigers still led 31-24 at the break, then pushed the advantage to 38-26 early in the second half. But Oklahoma State finally caught fire after a 3-pointer by Hickey, triggering a 15-2 run over the next 5-plus minutes and allowing the Cowboys to briefly take a 41-40 lead.
The lead was still 59-56 when the Tigers called a timeout with 30 seconds left. They got the ball to Gill-Caesar on the inbound, and the freshman managed to get a shot onto the rim as he shuffled his feet. The official called him for traveling just as the shot dropped through.
Oklahoma State extended its lead to 61-56 on Forte's free throw with 19 seconds left, but the Tigers made a mad dash through the closing seconds to force overtime.
"It's momentum, a big win against a former Big 12 team, an SEC team. That's a big win for us," Nash said. "It's great to get a good road win like we did today."
Missouri guard Deuce Bello, a transfer from Baylor, was suspended indefinitely Tuesday for what Anderson called "some academic issues."
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