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Cowboys Fall To Cyclones In OT

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AMES, Iowa -

Oklahoma State snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on Saturday in Ames, Iowa.

OSU let a 16-point second half lead slip away, eventually falling 85-81 in overtime in Hilton Coliseum, but it wasn't just the blown lead that will stick in the Cowboys' craw.

It was a few basics that got in the way late: free throws and situational fouling.

With a chance to put an impressive fifth-straight win on ice, Oklahoma State connected on just 3-of-6 free throws in the final 30 seconds, the last of which was missed by the typically reliable Phil Forte.

It resulted in a last-ditch effort from ISU's Naz Long that rang true on a running 30-foot 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to force overtime.

But, even with the ill-timed miss from the foul line, Long shouldn't have been in the position to get the shot off. With ISU already in the double-bonus, OSU (20-11, 8-10 Big 12) needed to foul to send the Cyclones to the free-throw line for a pair of attempts with a three-point deficit and less five seconds remaining, putting ISU in an unenviable position.

No foul occurred and Long took full advantage of the miscue to send the teams into extra time once again, having already burned the Pokes once this season with a game-tying 3 as time expired to force triple overtime in ISU's 98-97 win in Stillwater on Feb. 3.

Chalk this one up as a failure to communicate.

"We wanted to foul, we told our guys," coach Travis Ford said. "They didn't hear or react."

Senior guard Markel Brown had a different take on the situation.

"No one was told to foul. We should have," he said.

Regardless, Iowa State added insult to injury by utilizing this tactic to put OSU away in OT, purposely fouling Brown on two occasions to prevent the Pokes from attempting a potential game-tying 3.

It worked. Game over.

It was a flurry of frustration and miscommunication at the end of what appeared to be headed for another landmark victory in this late Cowboy resurgence, but ISU (23-7, 11-7) made the big plays down the stretch to earn a hard-fought senior day victory.

Oklahoma State led by seven at halftime and erupted out of the gates to take a 16-point lead on a Le'Bryan Nash dunk with 16:22 remaing, prompting ISU coach Fred Hoiberg to call a timeout.

The Cyclones answered with a 12-0 run to cut the margin to four, eventually using the momentum to take their first lead since it was 5-4 at 57-55 on a Matt Thomas corner 3 with 7:49 left.

It was a back-and-forth contest from there.

Smart was phenomenal for OSU, tying for a game-high with 27 points on 8-of-17 shooting, including four 3's and a 7-for-9 showing from the foul line. However, his two missed free throws were poorly timed, coming in the final 30 seconds of regulation.

Smart also finished with five assists, four steals and three rebounds before fouling out with nine seconds left.

Brown was sensational in his own right, scoring 26 points, including seven OSU's 10 in OT. He also snagged a team-best 12 rebounds.

Forte was the only other Cowboy to reach double digits with 13 points on 3-for-9 shooting.

OSU shot 41.7 percent as a team and hit 10 3's but didn't take advantage of free-throw opportunities, connecting on 21-of-31.

DeAndre Kane led the Cyclones with 27 points, eight assists and seven rebounds on 8-of-13 shooting. Georges Niang had 22 points and Long chipped in 14.

Iowa State shot 46 percent and had a 41-36 rebounding edge over the Pokes.

With the loss, OSU wrapped up the No. 8 seed for the Big 12 Tournament and will face Texas Tech at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in Kansas City.

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