For nearly 36 minutes on Saturday in Stillwater, Iowa State was poised to maintain its spot in the tie for the lead in the Big 12 standings, setting up a colossal match-up with Kansas State at Hilton Coliseum on Tuesday.
The Cyclones had raced out to a 16-point first-half lead over Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys slowly chipped away as Iowa State’s offense struggled and shots started to fall for the home squad.
Mike Boynton’s squad out-scored Iowa State by 12 points in the second half and took its first lead of the game with 3:09 left before handing the Cyclones a 61-59 loss at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Oklahoma State was helped by one of its best shooting performances of the season, connecting on 9-of-21 shots from deep, including a 6-of-10 clip in the second half.
Avery Anderson had been 0-of-16 from 3-point range in Big 12 play, then knocked down 2-of-3 against Iowa State and finished with a game-high 18 points while adding five assists and eight turnovers.
Meanwhile, Iowa State cooled off significantly after an opening 12 minutes that saw the Cyclones build a 27-11 lead. Iowa State finished the game 2-of-9 from 3-point range and knocked down just 9-of-24 field goal attempts in the second half while also going 5-of-10 from the free-throw line after halftime.
Osun Osunniyi opened the game with one of his best stretches of the season, scoring 12 of his team-high 15 points in the first half. He finished the game shooting 7-of-15 from the field with seven rebounds and three blocks.
He was joined in double-figure scoring by Gabe Kalscheur (14 points on 5-of-13 shooting) and Tre King (10 points on 5-of-10 from the field). Oklahoma State’s defense, which like Iowa State ranks among the best in the country, also held Cyclone senior guard Jaren Holmes to just eight points on 3-of-13 from the field.
Iowa State’s offense was also hurt by the absence of guard Caleb Grill, who finished the game scoreless and attempted only one shot while battling through a back injury in 16 minutes of action.
T.J. Otzelberger’s group will be back in action on Tuesday when the Big 12 leading Kansas State Wildcats pull into town for an 8 p.m. tip at Hilton Coliseum. The Wildcats beat Texas Tech in Manhattan on Saturday to move into sole possession of first place in the Big 12.