March 5, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. (AP)-- As the final few seconds ran out on the last home game of his college career, Cade Davis found himself with the ball in his hands after he'd secured the game-clinching rebound.
He launched the ball toward the ceiling of the Lloyd Noble Center in celebration of a victory at last.
Davis scored 22 points and Oklahoma snapped an eight-game losing streak by beating Oklahoma State 64-61 Saturday in the Bedlam rivalry game.
"It was like a `Thank you, Jesus,' " Davis said. "Just with everything that's been going on, with our losing streak and people kind of doubting us. ... We've tried our hardest each and every game all year long, and to finally get a win ...
"It was a relief and just a wonderful thing to get."
Davis hit a pair of free throws in the final minute after the Cowboys (18-12, 6-10 Big 12) had pulled within two. Oklahoma State had one last shot to tie, but Reger Dowell couldn't connect on a 3-pointer from the left wing in the closing seconds and Davis got the rebound.
He was honored briefly before the game and again after as the lone senior for the rebuilding Sooners (13-17, 5-11).
"He's given his heart," coach Jeff Capel said. "He's given you absolutely every ounce of energy that he has. There's never been one time that I thought during a game or after a game that Cade has to play harder. He's always giving you everything he has."
Freshman Cameron Clark added 15 points and Steven Pledger scored 11 for Oklahoma, which protected its home court in the rivalry for the seventh straight year.
Marshall Moses led Oklahoma State with 16 points and nine rebounds. Markel Brown added 12 points and Jean-Paul Olukemi and Dowell had 10 each.
After back-to-back wins, coach Travis Ford had held out hope that the Cowboys could still earn an at-large NCAA bid by beating the Sooners and then making it to the finals of the Big 12 tournament.
The only way either of these rivals will get in is by becoming the first Big 12 team to win four games in four days and claim the league's automatic berth. Oklahoma State will be the ninth seed, and Oklahoma will be No. 10 or 11.
"We all want to make the NCAA tournament," Ford said. "We all want to go far in the NCAA tournament, but that's not a right. You've got to earn the right to go there, and we haven't earned the right to go there to this point, unless we go to Kansas City and do something."
Grant Hill - Capel's college teammate at Duke - and his Phoenix Suns teammates watched from courtside in advance of their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night.
Keiton Page capped a 7-0 burst and put Oklahoma State ahead 47-45 with a 3-pointer from the right wing with 8:58 remaining. Carl Blair drove the left baseline for a three-point play to answer for the Sooners, and Oklahoma didn't trail again.
Davis hit two free throws to make it 63-59 with 41.7 seconds to play, and the Cowboys refused to foul him on Oklahoma's next possession. Oklahoma State instead fouled Clark, who went 1-for-2 with 16.2 seconds left and left the door open for overtime.
The Cowboys lost despite outscoring the Sooners 34-16 in the paint and 10-2 on second-chance opportunities while holding a 35-26 edge on the boards.
"We didn't play our best basketball at all," Moses said. "I don't even know any more ways to elaborate on it than we just didn't play good and they did.
"I hate games like that. They always haunt me."
Oklahoma State missed eight of its first nine shots and committed five early turnovers while allowing the Sooners to jump to a 13-2 lead. Led by Dowell, the Cowboys then started attacking the basket to get back into the game and took their first lead when Nick Sidorakis finished a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first half to make it 33-32.
Oklahoma switched to a zone defense in the second half and rushed back with a 10-1 run and took a 42-36 edge on Davis' two-handed dunk on the fast break with 14:34 to play.
"We just wanted to try to make them make contested shots," Capel said. "We wanted to try to keep them out of the paint. We wanted to play without fouling."
Oklahoma State had won the last three games in the series, rallying from a 15-point deficit to win in Stillwater on Feb. 2. Oklahoma hadn't won since then but avoided matching their nine-game losing streak to finish last season - which was one off the school record set in 1964.
"It feels good to win again," Capel said. "It feels good to win our last game here with this group, and we look forward to the Big 12 tournament."
The Sooners are the No. 10 seed in next week's Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament and will play No. 7 seed Baylor in a Wednesday first-round game at 6 p.m. CT.