Tulsa senior guard DaQuan Jefferies single-handedly staved off Oklahoma State’s comeback by scoring nine points in the final 1:02 of the game to help the Golden Hurricane hold on for a 74-71 win.
Jefferies finished with a game-high 20 points, on 6-of-8 shooting, and the got support from Jeriah Horne with 16 points off the bench as Tulsa outscored OSU 30-29 in the first half and 44-42 in the second half. Tulsa entered the game averaging 25 free throw attempts per game and nearly matched that number, going 18-of-21 from the charity stripe.
Oklahoma State took a 9-2 lead in the first eight minutes of the game but an 11-4 run by the Golden Hurricane tied the game at 13-13 at the 7:57 mark and a layup by Jefferies, at the 1:06 mark, gave Tulsa a 30-29 lead at the break.
A 9-0 run by the Golden Hurricane guaranteed that OSU would never regain the lead but the Pokes would pull to within 72-71 on a Cameron McGriff three-point jumper with five seconds left. A pair of free throws by Martins Igbanu, at the three second mark, buried Oklahoma State’s hopes as a desperation heave by Lindy Waters was off the mark.
Mike Cunningham came off the bench to lead the Cowboys with 14 points in 22 minutes of playing time. Starters Lindy Waters and Thomas Dziagwa scored 12 points each to round out OSU’s top scorers.
Oklahoma State shot 37.9% from three-point range, and 44.3% overall, but for the second game in a row missed free throws were huge. They were doomed by 50% free throw shooting at Minnesota on Saturday night and repeated the dubious feat against Tulsa going 6-of-12.
The Cowboys return to Stillwater Saturday to host the 7-0 Houston Cougars.