8:00 PM ET, January 21, 2004
Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Oklahoma
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- No matter how many of his shots bounced off the rim, Tony Allen kept calling for the ball.Wide-open jumpers, free throws and 3-pointers. Name it, and Allen misfired on them and kept coming back for more.The ball started falling, though, and Allen shook off his terrible shooting night to score 19 points in (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) Oklahoma State's 71-62 victory over Colorado on Wednesday night."He is the man," Colorado coach Ricardo Patton said of the Cowboys' star guard. "He is OSU's go-to player because he can hurt you in so many ways. He is every coach's dream as a team leader."Allen made a couple of twisting layups in the game's final 2 minutes, and John Lucas hit two free throws to keep the Cowboys (13-2, 3-1 Big 12) undefeated in nine home games this season.Lucas added 15 points and five assists with no turnovers.The late 10-3 run keyed by Oklahoma State's two leading scorers was just enough to hold off Colorado (10-5, 2-2), which managed to keep the game close despite its top two scorers struggling through foul trouble all game.Michel Morandais fouled out with 2 minutes to go and 7-foot center David Harrison played with three fouls throughout much of the second half, forcing him to be tentative on defense.Harrison and Lamar Harris each scored 13 points for Colorado. Harris also had 13 rebounds."I don't know how many fouls were called in the first half -- it was a war inside and out," Harrison said. "At the half it was 30-30 and we came out with a chance to win -- that's all you can ask for."The Cowboys were ripe for an upset because of their shooting struggles.Allen missed all four of his shots in the first half and really didn't get going until a tremendous one-handed dunk off a steal midway through the second half, giving Oklahoma State a 50-45 lead.Colorado responded with a 9-0 spurt, taking a 54-50 lead -- its first since early in the first half -- after two straight inside baskets by Harris.The raucous crowd of 11,839 at Gallagher-Iba Arena fell silent as the Buffs practically skipped to the sideline during a timeout seconds later.From there, Allen took over. Even without a reliable jump shot."He gets a little frisky at times," Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said. "Tony is a big-time player that makes big-time plays. Those two drives he made late the game were big-time plays."In the game's final minutes, Allen countered nearly every bad play with a positive one.His basket with 6:05 left was followed by four missed free throws. Allen made a steal that led to the go-ahead jumper by Ivan McFarlin, then was forced into a silly turnover.Undaunted, Allen clapped his hands furiously at Lucas to get him the ball on the next possession.He responded with a couple of dazzling layups that ignited the crowd and sealed the win."Coach told me to stay aggressive," said Allen, who finished 6-of-16, including 0-of-4 from 3-point range. "He told me if my shot was not falling to drive to the basket. Luckily those two plays at the end helped my team win."The first half was marred by too many fouls (25) and not enough baskets (19).Oklahoma State, the top-shooting team in the Big 12, missed its first eight shots and scored only two baskets in the first 10 minutes. The Cowboys shot just 26 percent in the first half.Meanwhile, Colorado committed 12 turnovers and played much of the half without Morandais because of -- surprise -- early foul trouble. He picked up two fouls in the game's first 4 minutes.Morandais also struggled to get anything going against Allen's relentless defense, finishing with eight points -- about half of his 15.5 average."(Allen) beat them up, drove past them and taught them that they need to be tougher," Patton said. "He just plays great hard-nosed basketball."The Buffs have lost 20 straight games in Stillwater, with the last win coming in 1980.
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