Cowboys dodging Big 12 road hazards
— 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.
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.
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.
West Virginia forward Wesley Harris, left, and Oklahoma State’s Mitchell Solomon fight for control of a loose ball during the first half Saturday.