Online Exclusive: Oklahoma State lets win slip away

By Tim Landes
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, March 25, 2005

CHICAGO - With less than three minutes left in Thursday's Sweet 16 match up between Oklahoma State and Arizona, the Cowboys led by four, but failed to hang on.

"It's very hard (to cope with)," said OSU forward Terrence Crawford. "We had the lead, and we felt like we were the better team, but we didn't execute like we wanted to and we let it slip away."

With 1:57 remaining on the clock, UA guard Salim Stoudamire hit a 3-point shot to cut the Cowboys lead to 76-75.

On the other end of the court, OSU senior forward Ivan McFarlin missed a layup and UA forward Channing Frye hit a jumper on the end to give the Wildcats the lead.

The Cowboys responded when OSU senior Joey Graham hit a short jumper with 19 seconds remaining to swing the lead back to OSU.

The Wildcats instantly took a timeout, and OSU senior Daniel Bobik said the Cowboys knew what was coming.

"We knew it was going to end up in Stoudamire's hands because he's such a great player and their go-to-guy," Bobik said.

The Wildcats came out of the huddle and did what the Cowboys expected - to a certain extent.

"I thought he was going to go to the right because he likes to go that way for the pull up," Bobik said. "I thought I covered him well, but he hit a tough shot going down."

The Cowboys got the ball back with 2.8 seconds remaining and burned a timeout to attempt to set up one last shot.

"It's hard to really establish any kind of shot when there's less than three seconds to go," said OSU coach Eddie Sutton. "The thing that hurt us is that we

weren't in the bonus situation."

The Cowboys got the ball in, and they were instantly fouled at half court with 1.3 seconds remaining, which set up one last play.

"I thought John (Lucas III) had the best chance and he took the shot," Bobik said.

Lucas caught the pass from Bobik near the baseline corner and took a desperation shot with UA guards in his face.

"I thought it was going in," said the senior guard.

"When it hit the back of the rim, my heart just dropped because that was my last game to play in an Oklahoma State jersey.

"With all this program has done for me, it's just a real sad moment."