After splitting the regular season, the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys found themselves paired up in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. As both teams looked to bolster the NCAA Tournament resume, only one could prevail. That team would be O-State with a 71-60 victory and a shot at an automatic bid remaining in tact.
In the second half, Jeffrey Carroll and the Cowboys built a commanding 50-34 lead. On the other end of the court, the defense kept Trae Young in check while the surround cast failed to produce consistently. Feeling comfortable with a sizeable margin, the defense flinched.
Burying back-to-back three pointers, Young provided a glimmer of hope for the Sooners. Continuing to pressure the higher seeded foe, Brady Manek knocked down a jumper from beyond the arc. Producing a 12-2 run midway through the final 20 minutes, Oklahoma looked alive once again.
Clearly it was a wake up call for the O-State defense as the two traded scores until the six minute mark. From that point on, the Cowboys held the Sooners to 1-of-10 shooting from the floor. Pulling away, Tavarius Shine found the bottom of the net for a 64-53 lead.
Forced to call a timeout, Lon Kruger attempted to regroup in the weaning moments of the game. Unfortunately for the Sooner faithful, the move failed as Jamuni McNeace was whistled for a flagrant foul. The ensuing free throws all but put the game out of reach for Oklahoma.
By the time it was all said and done, Carroll collected 13 points and 13 rebounds. But, it was Cameron McGriff stealing the show with and 18-point outing. Now, the Cowboys must face the Kansas Jayhawks in Kansas City. A win would secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament for OSU undoubtedly.