OSU Hoops: Cowboys Hold On For Win Over UConn In Maui Invitation - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

OSU Hoops: Cowboys Hold On For Win Over UConn In Maui Invitational

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LAHAINA, Hawaii -

Oklahoma State caught fire early on and used an all-around gritty defensive performance to take down Connecticut 98-90 on Monday night in the first round of the Maui Invitational.

Related: Oklahoma Ford Sports Blitz: November 20, 2015

The Cowboys are now 4-0 under new head coach Brad Underwood and will be back in action tomorrow night at 9:30 p.m. in the semifinals against the winner of North Carolina and Chaminade.

While the UConn name resonates around the college basketball world as one of the nation’s best programs, it was the Pokes who set the tone immediately from the tip.

Phil Forte III drained a deep 3-pointer to get the offense rolling, then his backcourt mate Jawun Evans knocked down a triple of his own as OSU came roaring out of the gates. Tavarius Shine and Jeffrey Carroll each hit a three, Leyton Hammonds flushed home a fast-break dunk and Evans tacked on another money ball to close out an early 15-0 Cowboys’ run.

While UConn did use a 10-to-1 run to climb back within six points midway through the first half, the Cowboys responded with a 10-to-2 run of their own and took a 14-point lead into halftime.

Just like the first half, Forte got things going with a 3-pointer to open the second half as the Pokes picked up right where they left off.

Leyton Hammonds got involved in the offense with a big shot, while OSU’s smooth stroke from the outside continued as Carroll and Cameron McGriff knocked down money balls to cap off a 12-to-5 OSU run.

McGriff wasn’t done, as he hauled in a nifty pass from Forte and punished the rim with a monster two-handed slam to put Oklahoma State up 66-47 with just over 10 minutes left in the game. 

UConn wouldn’t roll over, and clawed back within four points at 94-90 with 20 seconds left, but the Pokes hit enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win. 

Evans led the way with 35 points, six assists and five steals, while Forte and Carroll each added 15 points each. The Cowboys shot 60 percent (12-20) from behind the arc while totaling 18 steals in the win. 

Jalen Adams led UConn with 34 points as the Huskies now drop to 1-3 on the season. 

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