Pokes Slug Ags At Reed

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Byron Eaton had 17 points, including two free throws with nine seconds left, to lead Oklahoma State to a 59-54 victory over No. 16 Texas A&M on Saturday, breaking a 19-game road losing streak.

The win broke a 16-game conference road losing streak for the Cowboys (13-12, 4-7 Big 12) and snapped a five-game winning streak for the Aggies (20-5, 6-4).

Dominique Kirk made one of two free throws to bring Texas A&M within 55-53 with just over a minute to play.

Derrick Roland stole the ball from Eaton with less than a minute to play and Donald Sloan looked like he was on the way to an easy layup before Terrel Harris came from behind for the block. Obi Muonelo made two free throws after the Aggies were forced to foul to make it 57-53 with 16 seconds left.

Sloan made the second of two free throws with 11 seconds left to cut Oklahoma State's lead to 57-54, before Eaton ensured the win with his free throws.

Oklahoma State overcame a three-point deficit with an 8-4 run fueled by five points by Eaton to go up 53-50 with about 5 minutes left. Eaton had a 3-pointer and the 5-foot-11 point guard drove around A&M's big men for an easy layup in that span.

The Aggies got within one on a dunk by Bryan Davis with less than 3 minutes remaining, but the Cowboys answered with a jump shot by Harris seconds later that made it 55-52.

The Cowboys opened the second half with a 7-1 run capped by a 3-pointer by Muonelo to take a 41-37 lead. Texas A&M's problems early in the second half came mostly from poor rebounding and several mishandled passes in the post.

DeAndre Jordan, who led A&M with 15 points, then made his first appearance in the second half and provided a spark by scoring Texas A&M's next four points.

The Aggies regained the lead about 2 minutes later on a 3-pointer by Sloan that made it 46-45.

Texas A&M led by as many as nine points midway through the first half, but Oklahoma State went on a 12-4 run to tie it at 28-all on a 3-pointer by Muonelo about 4 minutes before halftime. The Aggies led 36-34 at halftime.

Muonelo added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Cowboys.

The game was played in front of a record crowd of 13,584, including former Texas A&M All-America Acie Law IV. Law, who plays for the Atlanta Hawks, was honored in a halftime ceremony in which a banner of his jersey was raised to the rafters of Reed Arena. It was the first time Texas A&M honored a player that way.

Oklahoma State at Texas A&M Post-game Quotes

Texas A&M Head Coach Mark Turgeon: “You have to give them a lot of credit. It came down to a couple things. Byron Eaton was in total control of the game. We couldn’t control his penetration. He used every shot clock. We couldn’t get a rebound. They had the hustle plays and got the 50/50 balls. We didn’t. That’s inexcusable. Give them credit. They were really good. They were loose. They played well and we just could never get it going in the second half. We couldn’t put together enough stops and rebounds or control their penetration. It’s disappointing. We’ve been a hustle team. We’ve been guarding well and rebounding well. I kept waiting for the light to come on. There were a lot of guys who didn’t play well today. The light just didn’t come on. Guys that I’ve been relying on just didn’t come through. I thought they played with a lot of confidence and came in here and played aggressively. They made plays and made shots. I thought we had a great week of practice. I really did. I thought we did everything we could to keep us sharp and fresh. We started the game pretty well. We had a good lead and then just stopped guarding. That came them some confidence. They had a nice game plan and it worked for them today. We just couldn’t make shots in the second half. They have really good players. They’re rally athletic.”

Oklahoma State Head Sean Sutton: “That was a really good win for our team against an excellent basketball team. We might have caught them at a good time. They’ve won five straight, had an off week, and have a big rivalry game Monday night. I’m happy for our guys. I’m very proud of them. I know that they were tired and our fans were tired of this losing streak on the road. It’s a big burden to finally get behind us. I thought it was a really good team effort from start to finish. Guys did a good job of listening to the scouting report. They focused on the game plan and what we had to do to give ourselves a chance to win. I thought the second half was about as good as we’ve played on the defensive end all season long. We came up with some key stops. On the offensive end, I thought Byron (Eaton) was tremendous. We felt like we could expose them a little bit forcing their big guys to come out and try and contain him. I thought he made good decisions with the basketball. I’m really proud for our players.

Oklahoma State Junior Guard Byron Eaton: “[on Acie Law Day] I knew about it and I told some of the guys today. I told them they were going to retire his jersey on the day we came in to play. That’s disrespecting us. I’m sorry to mess up this day for them, but it was a great day for us. It’s one more win to try and get to the NCAA tournament. Going to someone else’s house and beating a ranked team is not easy. I’m just happy that we came out on top today. We need this to carry to next week against Kansas.”

Oklahoma State Sophomore Guard Obi Muonelo: “To come on the road, in a hostile environment like this, and get a win is a great feeling.”