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Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament: Cowboys hang on 72-69 to eliminate West Virginia

The Cowboys will keep it going in Kansas City.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Oklahoma State vs West Virginia Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

On this day in 2020, college basketball shut down. Today, the Cowboys took on West Virginia in a game that was close to the end and the Cowboys were able to win their 2021 Big 12 Conference tournament debut 72-69 in the Sprint center Thursday

In Cade Cunningham’s return, the freshman scored 17 points going three for four from the field with 4 assists. However, it wasn’t always Cade’s best day. He would also end the game with six turnovers. Despite some questionable play from not just Cade, the Cowboys never let themselves get too far gone. The Cowboys were able to get things going in the second half and come away with the win.

Going into halftime was rough though. One of Cade’s turnovers led to a Miles McBride layup. Then, Kalib Boone made a bad pass and McBride dunked it. This would lead to West Virginia going into the half up 36-30. The Cowboys would turn the ball over 13 times in the first 20 minutes, something that has plagued them this entire season. West Virginia made it a game plan to make sure the Cade had multiple guys guarding him at all times and he struggled a bit because of it.

To start the second half, Avery Anderson would start the scoring for Oklahoma State a three-point basket and a fast-break layup. He would keep it going the whole half with 13 points in the second. Anderson would tie Cade for the team lead with 17 points. On the boards, Kalib Boone had himself a game with 10 rebounds.

The ending of the game was just as close as the ending of the first half. Isaac Likekele would get a defensive rebound to Cunningham with 29 seconds left, unfortunately for him, Cunningham was once again surrounded by Mountaineers and Emmitt Matthews Jr. stole the ball. Fortunately for the Cowboys, Matthews Jr. would miss. This game was also the return for Isaac Likekle who came in off the bench when the Cowboys got into some foul trouble. He would score 10 points and was close to a double-double with 7 rebounds. That sequence just didn’t go as planned.

In the final seconds of the game, Likekele made another big defensive play blocking Taz Sherman, who was one of West Virginia’s leading scorers with 19 points in the game. Sean McNeil then missed the three at the buzzer to end the game.

Next up the Cowboys will play winner of Baylor-Kansas State Friday at 7:30 p.m.