Oklahoma State scored a Big 12 road win on Saturday as the Cowboys outlasted No. 19 West Virginia for an 88-85 win.
Lindy Waters III buried the go-ahead three-pointer with 22 seconds left to give Oklahoma State its final lead as he nailed the dagger three-pointer off an offensive rebound and dish from Kendall Smith. Smith and Cameron McGriff led the Cowboys with 20 points each while Jeffrey Carroll chipped in 14 points. Waters and Mitchell Solomon had 10 points each, giving Oklahoma State a solid, balanced scoring effort.
The win gives the Cowboys (15-10, 5-7) another intriguing win for its NCAA tournament argument. The road win means Oklahoma State now owns wins over Florida State, Oklahoma, Kansas and on the road at West Virginia. The problem is that the Cowboys already have seven Big 12 losses and sit tied for second to last with Baylor entering Saturday.
Oklahoma State certainly helped its case with a win here, but they still have plenty of more work to do. This win stops a stretch in which the Cowboys had dropped four of five games. A winning streak and knocking off some of these unranked teams is vital for Oklahoma State’s March outlook. And if the Cowboys can earn another win against a team like Texas Tech or Kansas? They’ll be an intriguing case as we enter the Big 12 tournament.
As for West Virginia, this loss stops some positive momentum after a recent slide. The Mountaineers (18-7, 7-5) had won two straight games entering Saturday after losing six out of the seven before that. Now they have a bad home loss to think about as West Virginia enter a home stretch that includes games against Kansas and Texas Tech.
Jevon Carter had another very good outing with 33 points and Esa Ahmad added 16 points, but the Mountaineer offense needs more help than that if they’re going to beat good teams. Carter was outstanding, but he also didn’t have much help, especially in the half court. West Virginia hasn’t been as consistent forcing turnovers against familiar Big 12 opponents and Oklahoma State only had 13 turnovers against the press.