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Pokes Rally, But Red Raiders Prevail 63-62

Welcome to the Bubble, it's not fun and games.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

There are so many ways to describe what went down in Lubbock, Texas. But I'm going to begin with some positives.

Tyree Griffin got the start tonight and showed a glimpse of the player he can become. Fast, agile and an ability to handle the basketball,  all going to be needed going forward. Jeffery Carroll seems to have found his game and was a pivotal figure in the comeback that sadly fell short. Finally,  for a little while there, things seemed to be clicking on both ends of the floor that made you think that this slump was ending.

But not so fast, my friend.

First of all, I'm not going to even discuss the first half other than this: nothing was working. No one was in sync. Offense was slow, defense lazy and it was, overall, nothing akin to modern basketball.

In the second half, it was all about finding a rhythm. Texas Tech had theirs, and the Red Raiders were starting to put nails in the Cowboys' coffin. But a spark of life from Le'Bryan Nash and Carroll rallied the tattered and disheartened Pokes back from the impending grave.

Poor Phil Forte had himself a rough night. He could never get open and finally gathered five fouls without making one single shot. Despite that, the Cowboys were only down two points with under a minute left to play. That's when Carroll became a hero. He received a pass from Nash, rose off the floor and drilled a triple to put the Pokes up on top. His heroics were short lived, however, as Devaugntah Williams answered for Tech.

A quick trip down the floor and the ball tipped out of bounds later, the Pokes found themselves under the basket with only fractions more than a second to react. The ball was passed to Carroll as he flashed outside and let fly a long shot that never found the rim.

Nash led OSU with 19 points and five assists,  followed by Carroll with 12 points and Griffin and Michael Cobbins with 10 each. Tech was led by Toddrick Gotcher with 17 points, followed by Norense Odiase with 14 points and Robert Turner and Williams with 11 a piece.

It will be a long ride for OSU back home to Stillwater,  punctuated by the grim thought of what fate awaits in the postseason.