COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP)—Oklahoma State broke a more than two-year road losing streak where it all began.
Byron Eaton had 17 points, including two free throws with 9 seconds left, to lead the Cowboys to a 59-54 victory over No. 16 Texas A&M on Saturday, breaking a 19-game skid away from home.
The win broke a 16-game conference road losing streak for the Cowboys (13-12, 4-7 Big 12) and snapped a five-game winning streak for the Aggies (20-5, 6-4).
The first loss in this skid was a 46-44 defeat by A&M on Feb. 11, 2006. The Cowboys hadn’t won on the road since a 63-61 win at Kansas State on Feb. 4 of that year.
“I’m happy for our guys and really proud for them,” said Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton, who notched his first road win as head coach Saturday. “I know that they were tired and our fans were tired of this losing streak on the road. It’s a big burden to finally get behind us.”
Dominique Kirk made one of two free throws to bring Texas A&M within 55-53 with just more than a minute to play.
Derrick Roland stole the ball from Eaton with less than a minute to play and Donald Sloan looked like he was on the way to an easy layup before Terrel Harris came from behind for the block.
“Terrel came out of nowhere,” Marcus Dove said. “That was a great play, basically he saved the game for us.”
Obi Muonelo made two free throws after the Aggies were forced to foul to make it 57-53 with 16 seconds left.
Sloan made the second of two free throws with 11 seconds left to cut Oklahoma State’s lead to 57-54, before Eaton ensured the win with his free throws.
Oklahoma State overcame a three-point deficit with an 8-4 run, fueled by five points by Eaton, to go up 53-50 with about five minutes left. Eaton had a 3-pointer, and the 5-foot-11 point guard drove around A&M’s big men for an easy layup.
“This is one of the greatest feelings,” said Eaton, a junior who grew up in Dallas. “We stopped that streak that we had, that is been going on for two years.”
Both Sutton and Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said Eaton, who had five assists, was the key.
“When he plays well our team plays well,” Sutton said. “This the way I envisioned him playing when we recruited him.”
Said Turgeon: “Byron Eaton was in total control of the game and we couldn’t get a rebound,” he said. “I told them: ‘Keep Eaton in front of you and make him shoot jump shots.’ And we couldn’t do it.”
Oklahoma State outrebounded A&M 32-27.
The Aggies got within one on a dunk by Bryan Davis with less than three minutes remaining, but the Cowboys answered with a jump shot by Harris that made it 55-52.
The Cowboys opened the second half with a 7-1 run capped by a 3-pointer by Muonelo to take a 41-37 lead. Texas A&M’s problems early in the second half came mostly from poor rebounding and several mishandled passes in the post.
“We just didn’t come out ready to play in the second half,” Joseph Jones said. “We weren’t aggressive and we paid for it. They got every loose ball and we didn’t rebound well.”
DeAndre Jordan, who led A&M with 15 points, then made his first appearance in the second half and provided a spark by scoring Texas A&M’s next four points.
The Aggies regained the lead about two minutes later on a 3-pointer by Sloan that made it 46-45.
Texas A&M led by as many as nine points midway through the first half, but Oklahoma State went on a 12-4 run to tie it at 28-all on a 3-pointer by Muonelo about 4 minutes before halftime. The Aggies led 36-34 at halftime.
Muonelo added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Cowboys.
The game was played in front of a record crowd of 13,584, including former Texas A&M All-America Acie Law IV. Law, who plays for the Atlanta Hawks, was honored in a halftime ceremony in which he became the first A&M player to have a banner of his jersey was raised to the rafters of Reed Arena.
Eaton was upset that A&M chose to honor Law during their game.
“That’s disrespecting us,” Eaton said. “I’m sorry to mess up this day for them, but it was a great day for us.”
Sutton brushed off Eaton’s comments .
“I didn’t sense that at all from our players,” he said. “Acie Law deserves to be honored. This is All-Star weekend and was the right time to do it. I don’t know why he said that. That was never even discussed.”