The Oklahoma State Cowboys outlasted the West Virginia Mountaineers 85-77 on Saturday afternoon in Stillwater, Okla., in a matchup of teams that began the day tied for last place in the Big 12 Conference.
Lindy Waters III scored 19 points, Yor Anei finished with 16 points, eight blocked shots and six rebounds, Thomas Dziagwa added 15 points, Cameron McGriff notched 14 and Curtis Jones hit four 3-pointers off the bench for 13 points to lead the Cowboys (12-19, 5-13).
Oklahoma State will be the No. 9 seed and play against No. 8 seed TCU when the conference tournament begins Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo.
Derek Culver, Lamont West and Jermaine Haley finished with 16 points each, with Culver grabbing 21 rebounds and West hitting five 3-pointers. Emmitt Matthews Jr. scored 13 points and Jordan McCabe tossed in 12 as all five of the Mountaineers’ starters hit double figures.
Relegated to the No. 10 seed, West Virginia (12-19, 4-14) will play No. 7 seed Oklahoma in Wednesday’s other game.
West Virginia trailed 49-41 at the half but kept the pressure on, led by Jermaine Haley, who began the day averaging 5.8 points per game but scored 15 of his 16 after halftime on Saturday.
Haley scored four straight points to tie the game at 66-66 with just under nine minutes to play, but the Mountaineers couldn’t get the lead.
A dunk from Anei stretched the lead to seven, and two free throws from Isaac Likekele made it 83-74 with 1:27 left. Haley’s 3-pointer cut the deficit back to six but that was as close as the Mountaineers would get.
Oklahoma State, which shot 56.7 percent from the floor in the first half, finished at 50 percent for the game, including 11 of 24 from 3-point range, while West Virginia shot 44.6 percent overall, and 13 of 28 behind the arc.
Jones, who came in averaging 8.1 points a game and hitting 32 percent from long range, hit 4 of 6 treys in the first half.
McGriff and Waters scored 12 apiece in the first half for the Cowboys, who led 42-30 with 4:02 left after a 3-pointer by Dziagwa.
—Field Level Media