Tuesday, January 14, 2003

No. 24 Oklahoma St. 48, No. 5 Oklahoma 46

The Associated Press

STILLWATER, Okla. - Victor Williams didn't really care what the replays showed. Williams banked in a disputed jumper with 3.6 seconds remaining, giving No. 24 Oklahoma State a 48-46 victory over fifth-ranked Oklahoma on Monday night.

Television replays showed the ball was still in Williams' hand as the shot clock buzzer expired, but the officials said the shot counted. So did Williams.

"All I know is I looked up and with 4 or 5 seconds left, I made my move and put it off the glass," he said. "It was out of my hands before the horn went off."

Informed of what the replay showed, Williams said, "The refs called the game. There were probably some calls they missed that could have helped us out in the game. That was another call they missed, so we won."

Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson ran to midcourt after the shot, arguing his case. The officials looked at a replay, but only to determine exactly the time when Williams' shot went through.

Lead official Tom O'Neill said through an Oklahoma State spokesman that shot clock violations are not reviewable.

"I saw it (was late)," Sampson said. "It doesn't do you a lot of good right now, does it?"

The victory was the 11th in a row for Oklahoma State (13-1, 2-0 Big 12) and came in Eddie Sutton's 400th game as the Cowboys' coach.

It marked the first time since 1962, when Oklahoma State won 49-48, that both teams scored only in the 40s. But that wasn't a great surprise, given that these are the top two defensive teams in the Big 12.

"When you get two coaches like Coach Sampson and Coach Sutton who base their whole team around defense, you're not going to get a lot of points," Williams said.

In the only other game involving Top 25 teams, No. 25 Syracuse beat No. 11 Missouri 76-69.

Oklahoma (10-3, 1-1) shot just 32.7 percent. Hollis Price and Ebi Ere, each averaging 18 points, scored six each and combined to shoot 4-for-24 from the field.

Oklahoma State shot just under 40 percent from the field. Leading scorer Tony Allen had 11 points, six below his average, and didn't score in the second half.

Oklahoma twice led by as many as seven in the first half, but it was a one-point margin at halftime. The Sooners' biggest lead in the second half was four points; Oklahoma State's was three.

"It was like two heavyweight fighters slugging it out," Sutton said. "It reminded me of when I first got here, we had a couple games with Kansas like this. You didn't worry just about getting a good shot, you worried about getting a shot."

Williams finished with 16 points. Ivan McFarlin scored 11, all in the second half, and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Freshman Kevin Bookout led the Sooners with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Quannas White had 10 points.

"The best players didn't play good for us tonight," Price said. "It was going to come down to the end of the game. They found a way to get a basket at the end and we fell short."

McFarlin gave the Cowboys a 46-43 lead with a tip-in at the 1:43 mark. Price sank a free throw with 1:17 left, then hit a short jumper in the lane with 40 seconds remaining to tie it at 46.

After an Oklahoma State timeout, Williams dribbled alone near midcourt before driving inside against De'Angelo Alexander and putting up his short jumper.

Sutton said the Cowboys had planned to get the ball to McFarlin, but the Sooners had the play defended. Williams then had the green light to try to create something.

"He's a gutty little player," Sutton said. "There's no one on our team I'd rather have at the line or have take the last shot than Victor."

Oklahoma threw a full-length pass on its final try and got the ball to Ere in the left corner, but his 3-point shot hit the side of the backboard and Cowboy fans swarmed the court.

"Sometimes games come down to breaks," Sampson said. "When you go 7-for-15 from the free-throw line, sometimes you make your own breaks."

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