Oklahoma State appeared on its way to a season-opening victory with a big cushion Saturday at Charlotte, but the 49ers yanked the cushion out from under the Cowboys.
Jon Davis scored five points in the final 4.2 seconds, including a 3-pointer right before time expired to lift the 49ers to a stunning 66-64 triumph in Charlotte, N.C.
Davis got the chance to be the hero when OSU was called for a flagrant foul on a play when the Cowboys were trying to prevent Charlotte from launching a potential game-tying 3-pointer.
Davis, who notched 27 points, knocked down the two foul shots and then created just enough space to launch the game-winner, which whistled through the net with 0.6 seconds showing.
The dramatic finish seemed impossible when Oklahoma State (0-1) blazed to a 52-28 lead with 12:48 to play on a pair of Cameron McGriff free throws. But the 49ers (1-1) suddenly found a groove and hit the Cowboys with a 28-4 spurt, sparked by transition offense and strong work on the defensive glass.
OSU’s shooting touch suddenly went ice cold as it missed 17-of-19 floor shots, including a handful of 3s when Charlotte took away the inside. The Cowboys went the final 7:36 without a made field goal.
When Davis cranked in a 3-pointer with 1:22 to go the 49ers had forged a 56-56 deadlock.
Despite the collapse, Oklahoma State still seemed to be in the driver’s seat when McGriff hit four free throws in the last minute on the way to a team-high 17 points.
After Charlotte’s Dravon Mangum calmly swished three free throws with 18 seconds left to close the gap to 60-59, the 49ers forced a 5-second call when OSU tried to inbounds. Following a timeout, though, the Cowboys’ defense returned the favor and denied Charlotte enough to force a 5-second call.
McGriff hit two more foul shots for a 62-59 lead, and Milos Supica answered with a pair. Fouled again, McGriff drained two more foul shots with 7 seconds left to set the stage for Davis’ decisive daggers.
Before the final back-and-forth, the Cowboys looked to be in cruise control when they barreled to a 37-19 halftime lead on the strength of red-hot shooting from outside the 3-point arc.
OSU buried seven of its first eight tries from deep, which fueled a 25-5 burst after the 49ers took their only lead, 14-12, on Malik Martin’s 3 at the 8:47 juncture. McGriff converted a steal into a fast-break slam dunk to knot the score and trigger a 15-0 spurt over 3:38.
—Field Level Media