No. 11 Texas Tech shares Big 12 lead after 84-80 OT win
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech got an unexpected sneak peek at March Madness and found a way to survive against an Oklahoma State team that’s playing for pride in a season of turmoil.
Davide Moretti had 20 points, including four free throws in the final 18 seconds of overtime, and the 11th-ranked Red Raiders escaped with an 84-80 win over the Cowboys on Wednesday night to move into a share of the Big 12 lead.
“This is what March is going to be like,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “It just started a day early for us.”
Jarrett Culver had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Texas Tech (23-5, 11-5), which four days earlier had a dominating 29-point home win over Kansas. The Red Raiders blew a 14-point lead in the second half against Oklahoma State (10-18, 3-12), which is tied with West Virginia at the bottom of the conference standings and is playing short-handed after three players were dismissed in January.
The Cowboys stayed in the game with outside shooting, making a school-record 17 3-pointers.
The Red Raiders moved into a tie with No. 16 Kansas State and a game ahead of the 15th-ranked Jayhawks, who rebounded from their lopsided loss in Lubbock with a win Monday over their Sunflower State rival.
Moretti was 12 of 12 from the free-throw line. He also made four in the closing seconds of regulation, but Lindy Waters hit four 3-pointers in the final 55 seconds.
Waters, who finished with 26 points and seven 3s, forced overtime when he sprinted down the court. He worked past Culver and shot over a leaping Tariq Owens from the right wing to beat the buzzer and tie the game at 71 after the Cowboys almost had a turnover.
“Disappointed in the result, but I thought the kids played with great energy and great togetherness, especially with the way we played on the road Saturday,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said.
Moretti’s two free throws with 8 seconds left made it 71-68 before Cameron McGriff’s ensuing inbound pass was deflected by Culver as Waters reached out for the ball before it went out of bounds with 7.1 seconds left. There was a long replay review before officials determined it was still Oklahoma State’s ball.
Texas Tech senior Matt Mooney hit two driving bank shots in the final 1:13 of overtime, and Moretti helped ice the win with free throws, the last two with 8 seconds left.
“Obviously on a night when we didn’t play our best, we give Oklahoma State credit for not letting us play our best,” Beard said. “I’m proud of our team for finding a way to win.
“We found a way to win when the other team played lights-out.”
Oklahoma State never led in overtime, and it was last tied at 78 on another 3 by Waters with 1:01 left.
Thomas Dziagwa added 20 points with six 3s for the Cowboys.
Owens had 16 points for Tech.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys showed a ton of gumption after they got blown out by Kansas State 84-45 four days earlier, the program’s worst loss since 1933. ... Walk-on Dee Mitchell, added to the roster on Feb. 11, hit a 3-pointer with 3:18 left in regulation to make it 59-58, the first lead for the Cowboys.
Texas Tech: The Raiders showed a knack for survival on a night when they didn’t come close to matching the level of play that sparked the huge win over Kansas.
Texas Tech struggled offensively for much of the second half to fuel the Cowboys’ comeback. Until Moretti’s 3-pointer and Culver’s driving basket moments later, the Raiders made only 7 of 19 field goals and were 0 for 6 from 3-point range. That came on the heels of Tech making a season-high 16 3s in the romp over Kansas, part of a 61-percent shooting night.
Culver made only 7 of 22 field goals. He made 10 of 21 shots against Kansas on the way to 26 points.
The Raiders were a season-worst 3 for 19 from outside the 3-point arc.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
As hot as Oklahoma State was from outside, the Cowboys struggled from inside the arc. They finished 9 of 32 (28 percent) on 2-point attempts. ... Mooney’s two late baskets salvaged an otherwise miserable night. Before those makes, he was 1 of 9 shooting and he ended up 0 for 4 from 3-point range. ... Oklahoma State is playing with seven scholarship players and six walk-ons. By the time the game ended, one of those seven had fouled out and three others had four fouls, as did Mitchell. ... Texas Tech finished with only seven turnovers, which matched its fewest in a Big 12 game this season. The Red Raiders have given away the ball fewer than 10 times in each of the last four outings. ... Wednesday was the first time in 10 games a Texas Tech game wasn’t decided by double digits.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys head home to host Kansas on Saturday.
Texas Tech: The Raiders play at TCU on Saturday.