Cow­boys dodg­ing Big 12 road haz­ards

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS -

— Road games against ranked teams don't seem to be much of a prob­lem for coach Mike Boyn­ton Jr. and his Cow­boys.

Ken­dall Smith and Cameron McGriff each scored 20 points and Ok­la­homa State beat an­other ranked team on the road, top­ping No. 19 West Vir­ginia 88-85 Satur­day.

"We're fight­ers," Smith said. "Ev­ery man in that locker room is a fierce com­peti­tor. We knew com­ing in here wasn't go­ing to be easy but we be­lieved in our coach­ing staff and we be­lieved in our game plan."

The Cow­boys (15-10, 5-7 Big 12), who won at then-No. 7 Kansas last week­end, trailed by eight points with 13 ½ min­utes left.

Jevon Carter had a ca­reer-high 33 points for West Vir­ginia (18-7, 7-5), which has lost six of nine. His layup gave the Moun­taineers a six-point lead with three min­utes left.

Lindy Wa­ters hit a 3-pointer that put the Cow­boys ahead 86-85 in the fi­nal half-minute. Af­ter a missed three-point at­tempt by West Vir­ginia's Bee­tle Bolden, Smith found an

un­guarded Jef­frey Car­roll who dunked for Ok­la­homa State to seal the win.

“I at­tacked and saw Lindy who’s an un­be­liev­able shooter and who had just made one,” Smith said. “I trusted him, gave him the ball and he made an­other big shot.”

The Cow­boys out­re­bounded West Vir­ginia 12-1 off the Moun­taineers’ of­fen­sive glass in the sec­ond half.

“I thought the key to the game was that we had to limit them to one shot per pos­ses­sion,” Boyn­ton said. “They are ob­vi­ously one of the most phys­i­cal re­bound­ing teams in the coun­try ev­ery year. I think we held them to one of­fen­sive re­bound in the sec­ond half and that put us over the top.”

Car­roll added 14 points and Wa­ters and Mitchell Solomon both scored 10. McGriff made all 13 of his foul shots and also had nine re­bounds, leav­ing him one board short of his first ca­reer dou­ble­dou­ble.

Esa Ah­mad added 16 points and La­mont West scored 10 for West Vir­ginia.

Tip-ins

West Vir­ginia has lost six of their last nine games, and faces a TCU team they lost to on Mon­day be­fore head­ing to Lawrence to play Kansas, where they have never won . ... Even with a 75-73 win over Trae Young and the 17th-ranked Ok­la­homa on Mon­day, West Vir­ginia could fall out of the Top 25 on Mon­day . ...

De­spite the loss, Carter’s 33 points got him out of his two-game slump with WestVir­ginia. Af­ter a com­bined 7 of 25 from the field against Kansas State and Ok­la­homa, the Moun­taineer guard shot 11 of 18 from the field, his best per­for­mance since he was a per­fect five of five against Rad­ford on Dec. 20, 2016.

[AP PHOTO]

Ok­la­homa State for­ward Cameron McGriff puts up a shot over West Vir­ginia for­ward Sagaba Konate. McGriff scored 20 points and made all 13 of his freethrow at­tempts.

[AP PHOTO]

West Vir­ginia for­ward Wes­ley Har­ris, left, and Ok­la­homa State’s Mitchell Solomon fight for con­trol of a loose ball dur­ing the first half Satur­day.

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