STILLWATER, Okla. (AP)—When Terrell Everett is under control, that means Oklahoma is usually in control.
Everett scored 23 points, Michael Neal added 12 and the 20th-ranked Sooners beat Oklahoma State 73-65 Wednesday night for their first road win in the Bedlam series in six years.
Everett, who averages 10.4 points in nonconference play, leads the Sooners with a 15.7-point average in Big 12 games.
“We’re feeding off him,” Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said.
Everett, who also had five assists and five rebounds, was 7-for-10 from the floor. He made all three of his field-goal tries in the second half, when he got to the foul line 10 times and made all but one attempt.
“He’s learned how to play under control. Early in the year, I didn’t know what he was going to do,” Sampson said. “But now he’s just playing at a nice pace. He doesn’t get too ahead of himself.”
Senior Kevin Bookout had 13 points in his first win in Stillwater in four tries, and freshman Taylor Griffin added 12 points in relief of benched star Taj Gray.
“This is going to be a win that I remember the rest of my life,” said Bookout, who had averaged 14.2 points and 10 rebounds in three previous games at Gallagher-Iba Arena, all losses.
The Sooners (15-5, 6-3 Big 12) extended their nine-point halftime lead when Neal hit a 3-pointer from the right wing and Griffin tapped a long inbounds pass to Bookout for a two-handed dunk.
Griffin, in the game after Gray picked up his third foul, got behind the Cowboys’ defense again and was fouled before hitting two free throws to give Oklahoma a 43-29 lead with 10:36 to play.
Bookout scored inside off a Neal lob and Griffin added a three-point play to extend the lead to 52-34 with 6:33 left.
JamesOn Curry sparked a Cowboys rally when he streaked through a passing lane for a steal and soared for a right-handed jam, then followed it with a 3-pointer.
Byron Eaton and Mario Boggan hit consecutive 3s to get Oklahoma State (13-10, 3-6) within nine, and another 3 by Eaton cut the deficit to 65-57 with 1:13 to play. The Cowboys continued exchanging 3s for Oklahoma free throws and 2-pointers and got as close as 69-63 on Jamaal Brown’s 3 in the final minute.
They had a chance to get even closer, but Terrel Harris was unable to corral a stray rebound after Austin Johnson missed two straight free throws for Oklahoma. Johnson then hit one of two from the foul line and rushed downcourt to block Eaton’s 3 on Oklahoma State’s final possession.
Gray, Oklahoma’s leader with a 15-point average, sat for 9 minutes after picking up his third foul with 13:29, and then returned for only 49 seconds before being replaced again by Griffin.
He remained on the bench for the final 3:40, even as Oklahoma State got within striking distance. Sampson said he thought Gray was “really a non-factor,” but he’s not worried about his leading scorer in the long run.
“He did that a lot last year,” Sampson said. “… He may throw another boner in there again but that’s why (Griffin’s) development has been key for us. No concerns at all about Taj.”
Griffin and Everett combined to score 19 of Oklahoma’s final 24 points to seal the game. Sampson was particularly impressed with Griffin’s replacement of the Big 12’s preseason player of the year.
“A kid that you don’t hear a lot about, he gets it done on the court,” Sampson said. “He’s a tough kid, understands how to play. When he goes for a rebound, he’s a man.”
Curry scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half, Boggan added 18 and Eaton had 13 for Oklahoma State, which revived a ragged offense to make it close down the stretch.
“I think we just got outplayed,” said Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton, who tied mentor Henry Iba for sixth place all-time by coaching in his 1,103rd game. “I think Oklahoma just played better than we did. They certainly displayed the fact that they were a little tougher than we were.”
Oklahoma slowly pulled ahead for a 15-7 lead on Bookout’s right-handed dunk as Oklahoma State went more than 10 minutes without a field goal and more than 7 minutes without scoring in the first half.
The Cowboys cut into a 10-point Oklahoma lead with five straight points off free throws, but David Godbold hit a 3-pointer and Everett hit a driving left-hander against Curry to give the Sooners a 26-17 edge at halftime.
The Cowboys were 4-for-18 from the field and had 10 turnovers in their lowest-scoring half of the season. They shot 52 percent in the second half, but didn’t start connecting routinely until it was too late.
“The first half, I thought defensively we played well enough, but we couldn’t get the ball in the basket,” Sutton said. “If the ball doesn’t go in the hole, it just puts that much more pressure on you.”