Cowboys, Sooners talk through final possessions of 66-62 Oklahoma win

Cowboys, Sooners talk through final possessions of 66-62 Oklahoma win

The Cowboys made just 30.6% of their shots Saturday night in Norman. A missed two-point attempt late in the shot clock and turnover ended a three-game Cowboy winning streak in Bedlam.

Ben Hutchens

By Ben Hutchens

| Feb 10, 2024, 10:31pm CST

Ben Hutchens

By Ben Hutchens

Feb 10, 2024, 10:31pm CST

NORMAN — In a game full of stagnant offense and missed shots, two failed Oklahoma State possessions managed to stand out. 

They both occurred in the final minute of Bedlam with the Sooners holding a one-score lead and the results led to a second-consecutive Cowboy defeat. Oklahoma State lost 66-62 Saturday night, making just 30.6% of its shots.

With 48 seconds remaining, the Cowboys trailed 61-60. OSU guard John-Michael Wright, standing just behind the 3-point line on the right wing, tried to work the ball down to center Brandon Garrison. Strong defense from Sooner guard Le’Tre Darthard pushed Garrison away from his spot on the low block.

“(Darthard) was on him and kind of pushed him out and the shot clock was going down,” Wright said. “I didn’t want to put (Garrison) in a bad position with nine seconds left on the (shot) clock so I just got the ball to Javon (Small)…it felt like that was the best choice on the team.”

Small, the game’s leading scorer with 17, caught the ball with 10 seconds left on the shot clock and settled for a step-back two. His shot missed right iron. 

“At that point, shot clock runs down and somebody has got to make a play,” OSU coach Mike Boynton said. “Javon took it in there, drove it. You got to live with what you get. We obviously want to get a layup or a wide-open three, but with the shot clock running down and the game on the line you got to take a shot if you can get it. He got that shot, I’m confident he can make it.”

The Cowboys’ final full offensive possession started with 9.5 seconds remaining. Since the Sooners held a 63-60 lead, Oklahoma coach Porter Moser said the plan was to foul the Cowboy with the ball to eliminate the chance of a game-tying 3-pointer. 

Small’s quickness complicated things.

Off an inbound, Small dribbled away from guard Rivaldo Soares and advanced halfway down OU’s lane before Soares caught up to him. Soares’ hand contacted Small’s right arm, knocking the basketball away. No foul was called. 

“Rivaldo missed the foul, or the ref missed a foul; I don’t know who missed a foul,” OU guard Le’Tre Darthard said.

The Sooners recovered the loose ball, effectively ending the game. The play also snapped a three-game Cowboy winning streak in the series. 

“Down the stretch, we had that philosophy of fouling and (Small) just took off and you couldn’t foul him,” Moser said. “And then when he got inside of (the 3-point line), we knew three beat us, and Rivaldo made a nice poke and just got it. Big stop.”

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Ben Hutchens and his twin brother Sam cover Oklahoma State for the Sellout Crowd. After a decade of living in the state, Ben finally feels justified in calling himself an Oklahoman. You can reach him at [email protected] and continue the dialogue @Ben_ Hutchens_ on social media.

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