The Cowboys got a big win on Big Monday.
In what was one of the most exciting games of the year, Oklahoma State pressed through an 11-point deficit second-half deficit and won an overtime thriller against No. 18 Texas Tech 74-69. After the big win, coach Mike Boynton shared a moment with the OSU student section, what he calls “the best fans in the world.”
“I’m not sure that anybody has maximized the capacity they have the way we have this year, and a lot of the credit goes to our students,” Boynton said. “They’ve been incredibly energetic and engaged with us all year… When they come to this building, I want them to know this is a place where they’ll be appreciated.”
The first half was a back-and-forth slugfest, and it was arguably Cade Cunningham’s best first-half performance this season. He scored 13 points on 5 for 8 from the field, and the Cowboys trailed 37-36 at halftime.
Things got ugly in the first seven minutes of the second half. Really ugly.
Cunningham picked up his third and fourth fouls within the first three minutes, and Kalib Boone also had to go to the bench with foul trouble. With all that in mind, OSU didn’t score for 6:34 to start the half, and the Tech lead stretched to 11.
You could call it a gut check.
“In the beginning of the season, we completely lost ourselves in the second half,” Avery Anderson III said. “We had to keep working on that in practice, and as you see, it’s got better throughout the course of the season.”
In a display of that exact message, things eventually turned around. Just when things were looking bleak, Keylan Boone hit a three to end the drought. Texas Tech’s Clarence Nadolny picked up a technical foul, and that was when the Cowboys reawakened.
Before tonight, Boone hadn’t scored for the Cowboys since the Baylor game, but tonight he was the spark.
“He probably had his five best practices of his career leading into this game,” Boynton said. “The work wins, but it’s hard to believe that when you don’t see that opportunity in front of you, but tonight he was needed. The only way he was ready is because he prepared the right way and he was in the right mental space. I’m extremely proud of him.”
“As a big brother, it was an incredible feeling,” Kalib Boone said.
Avery Anderson III took matters into his own hands and went on an 8-0 run himself, draining Tech’s lead completely. Altogether OSU went on a 15-0 run, and the game was tied at 47 with 10 minutes to go.
Anderson was a menace all night. He finished with 16 points, and he helped bring the Cowboys back without Cade on the floor.
“I was just going in the flow of the game,” Anderson said. “I saw everybody wasn’t getting going, and I wanted to pick it up for us. I saw we needed some scoring, so I decided to attack and try to get to the rim.”
The final 10 minutes were much like the first half — a slugfest when neither team could get separation. Just when it looked like OSU had it wrapped up, Kyler Edwards tied the game on a second-chance layup with three seconds left.
Overtime was imminent.
Much like the Texas game, OSU completely shut down Tech’s offense in OT. OSU held Texas to 0-12 from the field in its overtime game, and tonight OSU held TTU to just 2-10.
Led by Kalib Boone, who once again had a spectacular game with 18 points and 7 rebounds, Cade Cunningham, and of course Anderson, OSU got the job done. A late block from Anderson saved the game, and two free throws from Bryce Williams sealed the deal.
“We just think about all those extra times we put in the gym,” Boone said. “In overtime, the extra work shows.”
Boynton calls it “competitive stamina.”
“We’ve just gotta fight through it all,” Anderson said.