OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)—Mario Boggan kept expecting to get tired. He never did.
Oklahoma State’s star forward scored a career-high 30 points and had a crucial putback in the final minute to help lift No. 15 Cowboys to a 95-89 double-overtime victory over seventh-ranked Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
“I thought I was going to be dead to the world but as it kept going I just kept wanting to play. I just got more energy and my adrenaline was just rushing more,” Boggan said.
Boggan had enough left in his tank to get to the line for the go-ahead free throws with 1:42 left and then to grab Byron Eaton’s miss and put it back with his right hand for a three-point lead.
“This is great. I dream about it. I used to dream of the day I was there,” Boggan said. “I probably was more pumped and energized. I thought I was going to be dead tired, but as it kept going I kept on feeling like I had more energy.”
Mike Cook hit two free throws with 25.3 seconds left to pull Pitt (10-2) within a point, but the Panthers were forced to foul with the shot clock off. Levance Fields was called for a flagrant foul for grabbing Eaton’s neck with 21.6 seconds left.
Eaton hit both his free throws and JamesOn Curry added two more for a five-point lead, and the Cowboys exchanged high-fives before huddling with 16.7 seconds remaining. Ronald Ramon’s jumper in the lane was off-target, and Fields discarded his headband as Curry stepped to the foul line to hit two more shots.
Boggan finished 9-for-19 with nine rebounds, but had to leave after injuring his left hand on his foul of Cook.
“I was surprised by all of them, but really surprised by him that he never wore down,” Cowboys coach Sean Sutton said. “He just kept saying, `Get me the ball. Get me the ball.’ He had an unbelievable performance—one of the best efforts we’ve had from one of our players in quite a while.”
Curry finished with 21 points for Oklahoma State (12-1), which also got 12 apiece from Terrel Harris and Kenny Cooper and 10 from Eaton. Dove had 12 rebounds.
Aaron Gray, the Big East preseason player of the year, had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead five Pitt players who scored in double figures. Antonio Graves added 17, Cook and Fields each had 15 and reserve Sam Young scored 10.
“We figured a game like that would come down to loose balls and rebounds,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “I think the bottom line is the rebounds.”
Oklahoma State had a 47-35 edge on the boards, and none was bigger than the one by Boggan. The Cowboys can only hope they won’t be without their top scorer and rebounder. Boggan said he expected to have X-rays on his hand but did not think there was a break. He said the injury seemed to be in the area near his thumb.
“It got caught three times in jerseys and got pulled back,” Boggan said. “I don’t even know what happened but … it hurt real bad. I think I hyperextended it like three times. Hopefully it’ll be better.”
Boggan and Sutton both said they didn’t expect him to miss any games.
“The enjoyment and the happiness of the game, it kind of takes away some of the pain,” Boggan said. “I might wake up tomorrow and be like, `Oh, man. That was a tough game.’ But I love it. I get banged up all the time.
“Kenny Cooper in practice elbows me in my face every day, two or three times a day.”
Both teams were trying to rebound after lengthy winning streaks were broken. Oklahoma State had won its first 11 games before committing 23 turnovers in a 79-77 upset to Tennessee in Nashville on Monday night. Pitt started out 10-0 before losing 89-75 Saturday at Wisconsin, dropping the Panthers from the No. 2 ranking.
After a second half in which neither team led by more than four points, the Panthers needed four points in a single possession just to force overtime. Down 75-71, Cook hit the first of two free throws before the second shot caromed away to Gray. Fields then connected on a 3-pointer from the right wing to tie it with 25.1 seconds left.
Oklahoma State then had a chance to win it, but Graves blocked Curry’s spinning jumper in the lane and Boggan’s tip-in fell off the rim as the buzzer sounded to end regulation.
The Cowboys also missed a shot at the win to end the first overtime, when Boggan’s jumper from the left wing was wide right and the score remained tied at 81.
Gray opened the second overtime by trading baskets with the Cowboys, and Graves pushed the Panthers ahead 87-85 with two free throws. Dove hit one of two free throws at the other end before Boggan hit two for Oklahoma State’s first lead of the period at 88-87.
Graves missed a 3-pointer from the right wing and Boggan was able to score off of Eaton’s miss—the kind of shot he’d been dreaming about.
“I don’t think I’ll ever forget this game,” Boggan said. “It was a great game.”