After squandering an 18-point first-half lead, Oklahoma State hit three free throws in the final 17 seconds to hold on for an 82-78 win over DePaul Sunday night in the Baha Mar Hoops consolation game.
After DePaul’s Ahamad Bynum sank a 3-pointer with 2:20 left to forge the game’s final tie, the Cowboys’ Avery Anderson III converted a layup and accompanying free throw with 1:56 to go to give Oklahoma State the lead for good.
Kalib Boone paced Oklahoma State (3-2) with 17 points before fouling out. Anderson contributed 16 points while John-Michael Wright posted 14 points and Tyreek Smith scored 11 off the bench.
Long Island transfer Eral Penn led DePaul (3-2) with a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds for his 21st career double-double. Oklahoma transfer Umoja Gibson added 17 points and six assists as five Blue Demons hit double figures.
Penn rimmed an open 3-pointer from the corner with six seconds left that would have given DePaul a one-point lead. Wright grabbed the defensive rebound and sank two free throws with five seconds to go to clinch the game.
Oklahoma State bolted to an 8-0 lead in the first three minutes as Boone was active from the jump. He canned two free throws, earned a steal that led to Wright’s driving layup, knocked home a short putback jumper and triggered Bryce Thompson’s driving layup with a defensive rebound.
The Cowboys pushed the lead all the way to 19-3 as the Blue Demons went 1 for 9 from the field with five turnovers in the first seven-plus minutes. DePaul rallied to pull within 44-36 at the break.
The Blue Demons spent most of the second half pulling within one possession of the Cowboys — only for Oklahoma State to hit shots and regain breathing room. Penn drilled back-to-back 3-pointers and Javan Johnson added two free throws to get DePaul within 55-54 with 13:11 to go, which inspired the Cowboys to use 3-pointers by Caleb Asberry and Chris Harris Jr. and a three-point play by Boone to take a 64-56 lead.
With Oklahoma State big men Boone and Moussa Cisse stuck to the bench with four fouls, DePaul finally caught up at 66 on Penn’s layup with 7:42 to go. The Blue Demons took their first lead when De’Sean Nelson picked up an Oklahoma State turnover and drove 75 feet for a layup and a 69-68 edge with 5:12 to go. That triggered six lead changes down the stretch.
–Field Level Media