Cowboys repeat as Big 12 tourney champs

Associated Press
Published March 14, 2005

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - John Lucas scored 19 points, including a crucial free throw with 4.4 seconds left, and No. 10 Oklahoma State earned its second straight Big 12 tournament championship with a 72-68 victory over Texas Tech on Sunday.

Former Brandon standout Joey Graham, the tournament's most valuable player, added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the third-seeded Cowboys (24-6), who overcame 20 turnovers - seven by Graham - to win the last Big 12 tournament game in Kemper Arena.

Ronald Ross, who had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Texas Tech, airballed a 3-point attempt with time winding down and the fourth-seeded Red Raiders (20-10) trailing 71-68. Lucas caught the ball under the basket, was fouled, and hit the second of his two free throw attempts to put the game out of reach.

Jarrius Jackson also had 22 points for Texas Tech, which won the last Southwest Conference tournament in 1996 but was making its first appearance in a Big 12 final.

The Red Raiders also had problems with turnovers Sunday. After committing just eight in Saturday's 69-63 semifinal victory over No. 17 Oklahoma, they had 19 - 14 in the first half - against the Cowboys.

Oklahoma State took its biggest lead, 49-37, on Lucas' 3-pointer with 17 minutes left. But Martin Zeno scored 11 points and Ross had nine in Texas Tech's 22-4 run that put the Red Raiders up 59-53 on Devonne Giles' basket with 5:20 to go.

The Cowboys came back and went up 64-63 on Graham's three-point play with 2:07 to go. Daniel Bobik then drew a charging call on Giles, and Lucas hit a 3-pointer that gave the Cowboys a 67-63 lead with 1:33 left.

Jackson hit a 3-pointer with 1:16 to go, getting the Red Raiders within 69-68, and Lucas answered with a layup that put Oklahoma State up 69-66 with under 40 seconds to go.

JamesOn Curry had 11 points and five assists for Oklahoma State, which led 39-32 at halftime.

Zeno finished with 14 points for Texas Tech.