STILLWATER — The question was obvious for Jéan-Paul Olukemi Saturday.
Where you been?
Olukemi, mired in a mini-slump since seemingly positioning himself for a Big 12 breakout, resurfaced in a big way for Oklahoma State, scoring 16 of his game-high 20 points in the second half, including OSU's final six points to lift the Cowboys past Texas Tech 70-68.
Before an estimated crowd of 8,000 at Gallagher-Iba Arena, Olukemi shook his struggles and the Cowboys snapped a four-game losing streak, hanging on when Tech's John Roberson just missed on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“You're looking at two teams just fighting to get a win,” said OSU coach Travis Ford. “It comes down to the last shot, could have gone in, could have missed, either way…”
And for a change – the Cowboys have lost three final possession contests in league play – it went their way.
Olukemi sort of willed it OSU's way, with Keiton Page scuffling through a 1-for-10 shooting day as Option A in the offense.
“When you see a teammate having a tough time, you want to step up and keep your team afloat,” Olukemi said. “I wanted to step up and keep our team in the game.”
And the Cowboys seemed in danger of sinking.
Page couldn't buy a basket. Marshall Moses, who eventually finished with 14 points, wasn't getting enough touches. And in the span of 3:23, a nine-point Cowboys lead flipped to a six-point Red Raiders advantage at 56-51 with 10:53 remaining.
Olukemi and Moses kept the Cowboys close and the defense started getting some stops, yet OSU still trailed 67-64 at the 3:05 mark.
Olukemi took it from there.
His mid-range jumper made it 67-66. And after a D'walyn Roberts free throw pushed the Tech lead to 68-66, Olukemi tossed in a fadeaway 15-footer and drew a foul from Mike Singletary, converting the three-point play for a 69-68 Cowboys lead with :25.4 showing.
Saturday's box score