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Oklahoma State upsets No. 24 Texas Tech, 73-70

The Cowboys have won back-to-back games for the first time since November.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Gallagher-Iba Arena had all the magic Saturday afternoon.

Oklahoma State upset No. 24 Texas Tech behind 16-point performances by Jonathan Laurent and Kalib Boone for the Cowboys’ first ranked win this season as they honored the 1995 Final Four team.

OSU (13-12, 3-9 Big 12) led most of the way in a game that was close the entire way. Each team’s largest lead was just eight points in what was arguably the most even game the Cowboys have played in this season.

Isaac Likekele added 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Cowboys, who have won two straight for the first time since November and three of four after losing their first eight conference games.

Kevin McCullar and Davide Moretti each had 15 points, and Jahmius Ramsey had 14 for Tech (16-9, 7-5), which had won three straight.

OSU led 71-69 with 7.4 seconds remaining when Tech’s Chris Clarke was fouled. Clarke missed both free throws then Likekele grabbed the rebound and was fouled. The Cowboy made the first but missed the second free throw to give Tech a glimmer of hope.

OSU fouled Tech’s Kyler Edwards with 2.5 seconds left. He made the first free throw then committed a lane violation when he chucked the ball at the rim.

Boone was fouled on OSU’s inbound heave, and missed the first free throw but hit the second with 1.9 seconds left for a three-point lead. Lindy Waters stole Tech’s Hail Mary inbound pass to seal the win.

The Cowboys out-rebounded Tech 37-22 while turnovers were nearly equal with OSU holding a slim 16-15 edge. As our Joel Penfield likes to say...

The biggest disparity came at the free-throw line, where OSU went 31-of-38 compared to Tech’s 12-of-20. Boone scored 12 of his 16 points from the free-throw line, as the freshman shot 12-of-14.

The win provides a spark of hope in what has been a mostly desolate season. Laurent has emerged as a valuable player in the last few games, and this team has seemed to have figured out how to play to its strengths and weaknesses.

OSU’s remaining schedule includes tough games at No. 3 Kansas and No. 14 West Virginia. Every other game is winnable, including home games against Oklahoma, Iowa State and Kansas State and a road trip to Texas. The Cowboys will need to go 3-3 in their final six games to break .500 for the regular season.

With the win, the team now has to wear ‘95 throwbacks full-time. Those are the rules, I don’t make ‘em.

What’s next

The Cowboys visit No. 14 West Virginia at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Morgantown.