Evans leads Oklahoma St. to 89-76 victory over TCU
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Jawun Evans scored 27 points, dished out eight assists and Oklahoma State never trailed in an 89-76 victory over TCU on Monday night.
Jeffrey Carroll added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Cowboys (12-8, 2-6 Big 12), who won their second straight contest after dropping six in a row.
"It feels great, I just want to keep the momentum going," said Evans, who committed just one foul. "I think defense is what did it for us. We talked about some stuff, changed some things, it's been great for us."
Kenrich Williams scored 20 points and had 12 rebounds, while Vladimir Brodziansky also scored 20 points for TCU (14-6, 3-5), which lost its third straight.
"They just played harder than us," Brodziansky said. "We took too many jump shots and the ball was a little bit sticking to our hands, a little bit selfish. They made shots and we missed shots. That's how it goes."
TCU stayed close the whole way, tying the game at 47, 49 and 51 midway through the second half before Oklahoma State began pulling away.
Up 67-63 with 5:53 remaining, the Cowboys went on a 12-2 run over the next two and a half minutes, surging ahead 79-65 when Brandon Averette put home a layup with 3:35 to go. They kept the heat on, going up by as much as 85-68 when Evans' layup went down with 1:31 left.
"I was really proud of our second half," said Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood. "The last 10 minutes of that ballgame is how you close out a game. (Shoot) 12 of 15 from the perimeter, you make your free throws and then no turnovers in the last eight and a half (minutes) or so."
TCU coach Jamie Dixon wasn't happy with how his team finished.
"Tie game with nine or 10 minutes left and they obviously outplayed us down the stretch and got a 13-point win in a game that was tied," Dixon said. "We simply got outplayed. Those guys played really well, you got to give them credit. We're hurting right now, three losses in a row. I didn't feel good about how we played tonight, to be honest."
TCU: A third straight disappointing loss - with one or two of those wins, the Horned Frogs might have been able to vault into the Top 25, as they entered the day as the team receiving votes, just out of the rankings. Brodziansky was silent for the game's first 18 minutes and then came alive after that, and Williams was dominant in the first half before disappearing in the second until the final four minutes. If the Horned Frogs had both of their stars going at the same time, they would have been unbeatable.
Oklahoma State: It was an important win for the Cowboys, keeping their momentum going after snapping a six-game losing streak Saturday at Texas Tech. They demonstrated that they were able to close out a close game, re-establish a relentless, pressuring defensive system, and received strong performances from up and down the lineup. It was also a big night for Evans, who hadn't scored more than 20 points in a game since Dec. 17, a span of eight outings. "Great night for Jawun," Underwood said. "It was great to see him back."
Oklahoma State shot 64.5 percent from the floor in the second half (20 of 31) and finished the game at 54.2 percent (32 of 59). After shooting 55 percent in Saturday's win at Texas Tech, the Cowboys have had two of their three best shooting performances of the season. . TCU out-rebounded the Cowboys 24-13 in the first half, with nine offensive rebounds, but Oklahoma State held a 17-11 edge in the second. . Oklahoma State turned the ball over a season-low seven times. . TCU shot a season-low 23.1 percent from 3-point range (6-for-26).
HE SAID IT
"I think we're starting to see growth," Underwood said. "I think we're starting to see some confidence. We were 0-6 (in Big 12 play) and I think we led in five of those games at half. It's a mentality. Confidence can be built from that."
TCU returns home to Fort Worth to host Auburn on Saturday as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge series.
Oklahoma State remains at home to take on Arkansas on Saturday in another Big 12/SEC Challenge matchup.