Feb. 5, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP)-- Travis Ford insists he wasn't trying to get a technical foul, even if it turned out to be exactly what Oklahoma State needed after a dreadful start in the Bedlam rivalry game.
Jean-Paul Olukemi scored 19 points, Darrell Williams added a career-high 18 points and 12 rebounds and the Cowboys rallied from an early 15-point deficit after Ford's technical to snap Oklahoma's four-game winning streak and claim an 81-75 victory Saturday.
"I can't say I was trying to get it. I can say I was upset," Ford said. "As they were shooting their technical, I did have a brief moment with our team and I think they understood I was at that point mad at everybody - refs, players, everybody - and I think they got the message."
The Cowboys (16-7, 4-5 Big 12) pulled ahead with an 11-0 run early in the second half, holding Oklahoma to only three field goals over the first 15 minutes after halftime.
Cade Davis and Andrew Fitzgerald scored 18 points apiece to lead Oklahoma in its third straight Bedlam loss.
The Sooners (12-10, 4-4) didn't get nearly the same spark out of coach Jeff Capel's technical foul at the end of OSU's big run as the Cowboys did from Ford's while roaring back from a 21-6 deficit.
"Down the stretch there, I guess we couldn't play without fouling," Capel said. "And offensively in the second half, we struggled."
Capel drew his technical foul shortly after Keiton Page's 3-pointer put the Cowboys up in the only lead change of the game. Matt Pilgrim had swiped the ball away near the Sooners' bench before it bounded out of bounds, and Capel continued protesting that Oklahoma should have retained possession as play headed the opposite direction.
Page hit the ensuing free throws to cap an 11-0 run and make it 53-49 Oklahoma State, but the Sooners still didn't hit another basket for more than 4 minutes. In an 8 1/2-minute stretch between baskets, Oklahoma went from eight points ahead to down 59-53.
The Sooners got back within 65-62 on Steven Pledger's 3-pointer from the right wing with 6:04 left, but then allowed a third-chance layup to Markel Brown at the other end. Pledger's jumper cut Oklahoma's deficit back to three, but Calvin Newell then missed the front end of a one-and-one to allow Oklahoma State to push its lead back to six.
The Cowboys went 7 for 8 on free throws in the final minute to close out their third come-from-behind victory in Big 12 play. Oklahoma State came back from an eight-point deficit in the final 9 minutes against Kansas State and from nine down in the final 3 minutes against Iowa State.
"It just says that we're not going to give up," Olukemi said. "Sometimes we dig ourselves into holes and then we've got to fight ourselves out. ... We don't like playing from a deficit. No team does, but I think it shows resilience in ourselves and a trust factor in our teammates to get it done."
Page finished with 18 points for the Cowboys, who have notched back-to-back home victories after losing five of their previous six games.
Freshman Cameron Clark, who had 25 points in the Sooners' win against Baylor on Wednesday, was held scoreless.
"We didn't lose the game because of him," Capel said. "We lost the game because of our inability to make tough plays. One of the things I told our guys coming in was that the team that usually wins this game, with this rivalry, is the tougher team, and I thought they were a little bit tougher."
The Sooners committed a season-high 28 fouls, allowing Oklahoma State to go 36 for 44 from the foul line. The Cowboys made 32 of their last 34 free-throw attempts after a slow start contributed to their early deficit.
Ford drew his technical for protesting the Cowboys' seventh foul in less than 7 minutes, and the free throws that followed extended the Sooners' edge to 15.
After that, Oklahoma State wasn't called for another foul for just under 7 minutes - a span in which Oklahoma was whistled for eight and the Cowboys got back in the game.
"That's something we've had a problem with is getting in foul trouble early on, and some of us did early on in this game as well," said Page, whose second foul led to Ford's technical. "Coach Ford just told us keep our hands off, gap defenders a little bit but still be aggressive as well."
The Cowboys scored the next eight points, including a four-point possession fueled by three offensive rebounds. Page and Williams then scored all of the Cowboys' points during a 12-5 push, and Williams' jumper from the left side got OSU within 30-28.
Davis hit a 3 and Fitzgerald a jumper as Oklahoma scored the first five points after halftime to go up 47-39, but then the Cowboys came roaring back again.
"The start was bad, but it could've been one of the best things to happen to us. ... We needed to change things, so we kind of scrapped a few things and said, `Let's just get after them,'" Ford said. "Let's start trying to change the rhythm of the game here."