No. 8 seed Oklahoma State exploded to a 46-23 first-half lead and cruised to an 80-62 win over Texas Tech and Baylor, the tournament’s seven seed, held off an upset bid by TCU in openiong-round games in the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City.
The Cowboys’ Markel Brown had 20 points and Marcus Smart added 18 to lead Oklahoma State in scoring. In addition, Smart contributed six steals, the most by an Oklahoma State player in the Big 12 Tournament. The win was the Cowboys’ fifth in their last six games. Oklahoma State now moves on to play No. 1 seed Kansas in game two of Thursday’s quarterfinal round.
Texas Tech jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game, but that’s when Oklahoma State’s offense kicked into high gear, and 0utscored the Red Raiders by a 40-11 margin over the next 13 minutes or so. Tech never got closer than 16 points in the second half, despite a 20-point performance by its leading scorer, Jaye Crockett, and 18 points by Djan Kravic.
“I was concerned about this game,” said OSU head coach afterward. “I was very happy with the way our guys responded.”
“We felt like our strength was our interior play,” Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said. “But today and against good teams they (the opponents) find ways to double you and make other people handle the ball, and now you’re not as good a passing team and they take you out of you rhythm and of your offense.”
“We kept making unforced errors. We just kept giving them the ball,” Crockett said. The Red Raiders turned the ball over 17 times in the game, most of those in the opening half, when Oklahoma State all but put the game away, mounting a 23-point halftime lead.
The Red Raiders end their season with a 14-19 overall record. It was the first losing season for the veteran coach Smith, in his first year at Texas Tech, in 23 seasons.
In the second game of the opening round, Baylor built up a 12-point halftime lead over 10th-seeded TCU behind the scoring of 6-9 Cory Jefferson and 7-1 Isaiah Austin. The Bears, who made the Horned Frogs their eighth Big 12 victim in the past nine games, expanded the lead to 17 points in the second 20 minutes before TCU mounted a late comeback that pulled the the Frogs within six points with just over two and a half minutes to play.
Austin scored on an inside move to the basket on Baylor’s ensuing possession and was fouled on the play. He sank the free throw, making it a three-point play, widening the Bears’ lead back out to nine points. They held on from there for a 72-63 victory.
With tremendous size in the frontcourt, Baylor outrebounds most of its opponents, and the Bears dominated the boards against TCU, gaining 1 39-22 advantage. The Bears outscored the Frogs 48-24 in the paint.
Jefferson ended up with 20 points along with 10 rebounds for the Bears, and Austin contributed 18. Junior forward Royce O’Neal had 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. TCU’s 6-10 freshman center Karviar Shepherd had a team-high 19 points and seven boards, four of them on the offensive end.
Baylor moves on to play two-seed Oklahoma on Thursday. The Sooners, ranked 17th in the latest AP poll, swept their two games with Baylor this season, including an 18-point win at Oklahoma. TCU ends its season with just nine overall wins. The Horned Frogs were winless in 19 games against Big 12 foes this season.
Tags: 2014 Big 12 Mens Basketball Championship Baylor Bears Cory Jefferson Featured Jaye Crockett Marcus Smart Markel Brown Oklahoma State Cowboys Popular TCU Horned Frogs Texas Tech Red Raiders Travis Ford Tubby Smith