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Hammonds leads Cowboys to 71-68 win in Forth Worth

It was a Jawun Evans dagger that sealed the deal for the Cowboys.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Texas Christian
Oklahoma State Cowboys forward Leyton Hammonds (23) and TCU Horned Frogs guard Desmond Bane (1) battle for a loose ball during the first half at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

All the talk was about how bad TCU needed a win. It seemed to go unnoticed that Oklahoma State needed a win too.

Jawun Evans drilled a deep jumper with 12 seconds remaining to lift the Cowboys to a 71-68 win over TCU Wednesday night in Forth Worth. With the win, the Cowboys are now 6-7 in the Big 12 and sit in fifth place in the conference standings. Oklahoma State is now 17-9 overall and winners of seven of its last eight games. The Cowboys have also won their last four road games.

Leyton Hammonds had his best game of the season with 21 points on 8 of 13 shooting. He also added five 3-pointers and seven rebounds. Jeffrey Carroll scored 17 points and had seven rebounds, while Evans had a double-double with 16 points and 12 assists.

The Cowboys jumped out to an early 9-4 lead to start the game, only to see TCU go on an ensuing 8-0 run. Hammonds gave the Cowboys the lead back with back-to-back 3-pointers, but TCU followed that up with a 6-0 run.

Again it was Hammonds who put an end to the run with another 3-pointer. It was the start of a 16-8 run the Cowboys used to close the half for a five point halftime lead.

TCU was able to tie things up early in the second half, but a Carroll 3-pointer capped off an 11-2 run to give the Cowboys their largest lead of the game at 54-45 with 12 minutes remaining.

TCU took back control of the game with a 13-4 run. From there the Horned Frogs were able to maintain a one possession lead for nearly the rest of the game.

The Pokes trailed by one with a little over a minute remaining, until Devante Averette came up with a loose ball in the open court and took it all the way to the hoop only to get fouled on the shot. The redshirt senior calmly nailed both free throws to give the Cowboys a lead they would not surrender.

Mitchell Solomon came up with a crucial defensive stop for the Cowboys the following TCU possession, giving the Cowboys the ball with a little over 30 seconds remaining. Head coach Brad Underwood used his final timeout to settle down the troops.

It was Evans who took the final shot, as he used a smooth step-back jumper to create separation and nail a 19-footer for a three point lead. TCU came up short in its final attempt, and the Cowboys escaped Fort Worth with a much needed victory.

As a team, the Cowboys made 29 of 57 shots for 50.9 percent. Both the Cowboys and Horned Frogs were 8 of 20 from beyond the arc for 40 percent.

The rest of the stats show how close this game really was. TCU held a slight rebounding advantage, 28-27, while Oklahoma State’s 17 assists were one more than their opponents. TCU committed 10 turnovers compared to Oklahoma State’s nine. TCU did do a much better job making it to the free throw line. TCU was 12 of 13 from the line, while the Cowboys were only 5 of 5. But the Cowboys made their free throws when they needed to, which is all that matters.

TCU Final Box Score
Oklahoma State Final Box Score
Final Team Stats

Oklahoma State hosts Bedlam this Saturday, then travels to Kansas State next Wednesday and hosts Texas Tech next Saturday. With those three wins, I can’t see a scenario where the Cowboys don’t go dancing.