KANSAS CITY — Keiton Page scored 20 points, Brian Williams added 19 and seventh-seeded Oklahoma State knocked off No. 10 seed Texas Tech 76-60 Wednesday night to open the Big 12 tournament.
Cezar Guerrero scored all 16 of his points in the second half for Oklahoma State (15-17), which advanced to play second-seeded No. 5 Missouri in the quarterfinals Thursday night. Markel Brown finished with 12 points as the Cowboys went 16 of 16 from the free-throw line.
Jordan Tolbert had 16 points and six rebounds for Texas Tech, which matched a school record for the most losses in a single season. The 1990-91 team coached by Gerald Myers also went 8-23.
The Cowboys won all three meetings with Tech this season, and have won four in a row in the series. They also won for just the fourth time in 17 games away from Stillwater.
Many of their struggles were tied to an injury bug that bit hard all season. Jean-Paul Olukemi went down with a season-ending knee injury early against Virginia Tech, and Philip Jurick missed four games with a foot injury before tearing his Achilles against Kansas State.
Star freshman Le'Bryan Nash missed his fourth straight game Wednesday night with a fractured non-shooting hand. He's considered doubtful for the entire tournament.
The end of a miserable season couldn't have gotten off to a much worse start for Texas Tech.
Oklahoma State jumped out to a 13-2 lead in the first 5 minutes, and the Red Raiders had only managed one field goal before the 13:22 mark. Ty Nurse was picking up fouls with reckless abandon, and Texas Tech had turned the ball over six times in the opening few minutes.
Billy Gillispie never used a timeout to stem the tide. Instead, the architect of rebuilding jobs at UTEP and Texas A&M allowed the Red Raiders to figure things out on their own.
They certainly appeared to for a while.
Tolbert went to work inside, pounding his way to the foul line and converting all five of his first-half tries. Nurse knocked down a couple of 3s, Jaye Crockett had seven boards by halftime, and the Red Raiders managed to creep within 32-27 by the time the buzzer sounded.
Their run was part of a larger 17-3 surge that covered the first few minutes of the second half. Luke Adams' 3-pointer from the wing gave Texas Tech a 36-35 lead, its first of the game.
Guerrero provided the answer for Oklahoma State.
He knocked down back-to-back 3s on the Cowboys' next two possessions, and after a pair of foul shots by Williams, got another field goal to go. Oklahoma State kept stretching its lead, using a 15-0 run to build a comfortable cushion with 12:20 left in the game.
Things finally unraveled for scrappy Texas Tech when Nurse, who had picked up four fouls in the first half, went out with his fifth at the 5:38 mark. Tolbert fouled out exactly 30 seconds later, and Oklahoma State simply ran the final few minutes off the clock.
The Red Raiders should be able to take some solace from the stats.
They had a 33-21 rebounding advantage against the more athletic Cowboys, and their deep bench allowed them to keep making second-half runs. But they were done in by 18 turnovers and the Cowboys' perfect foul shooting.
Gillispie has faced difficult rebuilding jobs before, and he should be heartened by another fact: The team that struggled to an 8-23 record in 1990-91 laid the foundation for the Red Raiders who would win the Southwest Conference five years later.