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Oklahoma State rallies to win Bedlam 81-75

Jean-Paul Olukemi scored 19 points, Darrell Williams added a career-high 18 points and 12 rebounds and Oklahoma State raced back from an early 15-point deficit to snap Oklahoma's four-game winning streak and claim an 81-75 victory in the Bedlam rivalry game Saturday.
by John Helsley Modified: February 5, 2011 at 9:28 pm •  Published: February 5, 2011

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State is finding an alternative to its poor shooting from the floor.

Shoot free throws instead.

The Cowboys attempted a season-high 44 foul shots Saturday — making 32 of their final 34 — a critical difference in an 81-75 Bedlam win over Oklahoma before an estimated 9,000 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

OSU, 10th in the Big 12 in field-goal percentage, turned aggressive in a two-pronged attack strategy against Oklahoma:

1. Get to the line;

2. Get the depth-challenged Sooners in foul trouble.

The Cowboys succeeded on both fronts, rallying from a big early deficit.

“When you're aggressive, getting it inside or driving it,” said OSU coach Travis Ford, “you're going to create some fouls. That's what we were trying to do.”

The Cowboys won their second straight, improving to 16-7 overall and 4-5 in conference play. The Sooners had their four-game winning streak halted, falling to 12-10 and 4-4.

In their back-to-back wins over OU and Missouri, the Cowboys shot 87 foul shots, making 65, including 39 against the Sooners.

OSU went to the line 25 times in the first half, a key in climbing back from an early 21-6 deficit.

“I've never had a team shoot 44 free throws (against me),” said Sooners coach Jeff Capel. “(Kevin) Durant's team didn't at Texas. Kansas' team didn't that year. Twenty-five free throws in a half?

“They're aggressive and things like that … they were more aggressive than us, I guess.”

That was the plan, too.

The Sooners' starters play more minutes than any five in the league, leaving their bench inexperienced and unproven. The Cowboys wanted to force OU to use that bench — and send starters to the bench — which they did early, with five Sooners picking up at least two fouls, including reserves C.J. Washington and Tyler Neal with three each.

Cade Davis and Steven Pledger played through foul trouble much of the second half.

“That was a big part of it,” said OSU guard Keiton Page, who made 11 of 12 free throws as part of his 18 points.

Saturday's box score

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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