NEW YORK – The Oklahoma State men's basketball team lost its second consecutive game Friday with a 59-57 loss to Virginia Tech in the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden.
The Cowboys (3-2) jumped out to a quick lead, starting the game on a 9-2 run. But moments later, Virginia Tech (4-1) responded with a 12-0 run to take its first lead of the game. The Hokies led the rest of the way.
After that original scoring spurt, Virginia Tech outscored 30-14 for the rest of the first half and led 32-23 going into halftime.
The Cowboys put together several small scoring runs in the second half, but could never fully eliminate the deficit. They drew within three points on four different occasions, but every time Virginia Tech answered.
The Hokies used free-throw shooting to carry their scoring at the end of the game. They managed to hold off a late surge despite not making a field goal in the game's final six minutes, scoring their final 10 points from the free-throw line.
OSU managed to pull within two points thanks to a 3-pointer by Keiton Page with seven seconds left in regulation. Virginia Tech missed two consecutive free throws that could have put the game away, but the Cowboys did not have enough time to attempt a game-winning shot.
Markel Brown led the way for Oklahoma State, recording a double-double with a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds. Jean-Paul Olukemi scored 13 points, and Page added 11.
Erick Green led Virginia Tech with 18 points, while Dorian Finney-Smith recorded a double-double of his own with 10 points and 14 rebounds. They were the only two Hokies to score in double digits.
Virginia Tech managed to win despite shooting just 32 percent from the field, thanks in large part to hitting 19 free throws and recording 21 offensive rebounds.
After the Cowboys began the season with three consecutive wins, they now have lost two in a row. They will return to Stillwater to face Tulsa at 7 p.m. Wednesday.