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Ice cold: Likekele’s well timed 3-point shot propels Cowboys past Kansas

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Issac Likekele

Image taken at OSUMBB's win over Kansas on January 12, 2021 in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Oklahoma State’s biggest 3-point shot came from one of the least likely options on the court at the time.

Just when the Cowboys needed it the most, their junior leader showed off his improved shot as he gave the Cowboys the final push they needed.

Kansas had just taken its first lead since early in the first half, and the Cowboys offense was reeling. Then with 1:02 left in the game, Likekele nailed a right corner 3-pointer to tie up the game at 70.

“Ice makes big-time shots, he’s a big time player,” Cade Cunningham said.

But that play wasn’t the play that put the Cowboys in the driver's seat.

With 40 seconds left, Cunningham blocked a shot, saved the ball from going out of bounds and threw a pass to Bryce Williams, who then found a streaking Rondel Walker, who finished an and-one layup at the other end.

“It was great anticipation from all of us,” Williams said. “Cade could’ve let the ball go out of bounds, and we would’ve had another in-bounds play. He knew where we were before he got it out of his hands. It was just a hustle play all around.”

Avery Anderson was able to light sparks in key times during the game to keep the Cowboys alive when the game seemed to be slipping.

Late in the first half, Anderson had back-to-back possession where he locked down Tulsa natvie Bryce Thompson. One led to a five second call and the other almost drew another, but Anderson was called for a foul.

Anderson then lit another spark for the Cowboys with 17 seconds left when he dove on a loose ball to call a timeout before Kansas could force a jump ball.

All in all, Anderson finished 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting and two steals.

“It’s the process,” coach Mike Boynton said. “He’s really talented, I think everyone can see that. There are still things he has to learn about college basketball, and then he has to trust the work that he puts in. He’s a tremendous finisher, he’s really quick, he can sit down and guard with the best guards in the country and tonight he made an impact on both ends of the court.”

To cap off the game, Williams let his presence be felt one final time for the fans when he stole the ball in the final seconds and bounced an alley-oop to himself to seal the 75-70 victory for the Cowboys.

“I wish he would’ve gone and layed it up or dribbled the clock out either one,” Boynton said. “I didn’t want him to get hurt.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com