Evans’ big 2nd half leads Oklahoma St past Oklahoma 96-92
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Jawun Evans keeps lighting up Oklahoma.
Oklahoma State’s point guard scored 16 of his 27 points in the final seven minutes to help Oklahoma State rally and beat the Sooners 96-92 on Saturday night.
”I feel like I was just more aggressive second half,” he said. ”I was looking more than I was first half. That kind of got me looks that I was looking for when we needed it, and coach (Brad Underwood) drew up the right plays.”
Evans scored 24 points against the Sooners in a win earlier this season and 42 points in a loss to Oklahoma in Stillwater last season, making the sophomore’s career average against the Sooners 31 points per game.
”I like big games, rivalry games,” he said. ”I live for it. That’s what I wake up for every day.”
Evans made just 2 of 8 shots and scored five points in the first half on Saturday. He scored 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting in the second half.
Jeffrey Carroll scored 23 points and Phil Forte added 22 for the Cowboys (18-9, 7-7 Big 12), who swept the season series for the first time since 2004.
Rashard Odomes had career highs of 29 points and 10 rebounds, and Dante Buford and Christian James each scored 13 points for the Sooners (9-17, 3-11). The Cowboys denied Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger his 600th win.
James banked in a 3-pointer from the corner to give the Sooners an 80-69 lead midway through the second half before the Cowboys locked down defensively. Oklahoma’s last made field goal came with 5:50 remaining.
”I think offensively, we knew we were fine,” Forte said. ”We were going to score. That wasn’t really our problem. We just knew we needed to get a couple of stops in a row. That’s what we kept preaching at timeouts is stops, stops.”
Oklahoma State rallied, and Evans’ layup with 1:08 remaining put the Cowboys up for good.
”They finished plays the last couple minutes where we didn’t,” Kruger said. ”We’ve got to do a little better job to finish things out. Evans had a terrific stretch late, and we couldn’t get a handle on him.”
Oklahoma lost another close one. The Sooners had lost seven straight before the win over Texas on Tuesday, and they missed a chance to build momentum as a young team who lost point guard Jordan Woodard for the season with a torn ACL last Saturday.
Oklahoma State really needed this win. The Cowboys had been playing well lately, but they had little room for error because they lost their first six conference games. A loss to a last place team, even a talented one, would have been damaging on Selection Sunday.
Forte, on former Oklahoma State guard and current Boston Celtics player Marcus Smart returning to watch the game: ”That was awesome. I’m just very thankful he came back. It’s the All-Star break. He could have been anywhere in the country, he could have taken a vacation. That’s what a lot of guys do. He came back to Stillwater.”
Oklahoma shot 55.4 percent from the field and lost. The Sooners, who often struggle from the perimeter, made 10 of 21 3-pointers.
Oklahoma plays at Baylor on Tuesday. The Bears will be looking to bounce back after a close loss to Kansas.
Oklahoma State plays at Kansas State on Wednesday. Both teams are in the middle of the Big 12 standings, and a win would boost the NCAA Tournament resume for either team.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP .