CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Jason Maxiell took his game to another level just in time to prevent Cincinnati from hitting a new low.
Maxiell made 10-of-15 shots and scored a career-high 24 points as Cincinnati righted the ship with a 61-50 triumph over 12th-ranked Oklahoma State.
Maxiell's big effort enabled Cincinnati to snap a three-game losing streak - it had never lost four in a row since Bob Huggins took over as coach in 1989-90 - and prevented the Bearcats from losing two straight at the Shoemaker Center since the building opened that same season.
Maxiell had not surpassed more than 12 points in any of six games from January 15-February 1 but had 21 points in a loss to Louisville on Wednesday. On Sunday, he kept the Bearcats in the game early, scoring 16 points in the first half.
Leonard Stokes added 15 points and matched a career high with 10 rebounds for Cincinnati (14-6), which led 27-26 at the break but opened the second half with a 14-2 run and were never challenged.
"The game was competitive and physical on both sides," Stokes said. "At one point in the game the place was so loud that my ears were ringing. We fed off that and really came out fighting."
Victor Williams had 18 points and Melvin Sanders 13 for Oklahoma State (18-3), which has dropped two of three since a 15-game winning streak.
Oklahoma State shot just 34 percent (17-of-50) from the field, including 2-of-12 from 3-point range. The Cowboys made just 7-of-27 shots in the second half and missed seven of 15 free-throw attempts over the final 20 minutes.
"I thought we played pretty well defensively this afternoon," Huggins said. "It was probably as good as we have played for 40 minutes all season long."
Cincinnati did not shoot well either, making just 4-of-18 3-point attempts.
"Both teams play the same style of basketball," Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said. "Both teams play outstanding defense. Today, we basically were outplayed by their big guys."
Sanders opened the second half with a layup that gave Oklahoma State a 28-27 lead but Field Williams, who was scoreless over the opening 20 minutes, hit a 3-pointer and Maxiell followed with a dunk for a 32-38 edge with 17:27 left.
Stokes had back-to-back jumpers and Field Williams made it 39-28 with a 3-pointer with 13:36 to go. Freshman Eric Hicks then capped the burst with a jumper that put Cincinnati ahead 41-28 with 12:50 left.
The Cowboys sliced the deficit to 48-39 following a free throw by Ivan McFarlin with 5:35 remaining. But Field Williams answered with a 3-pointer 21 seconds later and Oklahoma State never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Cincinnati is 14-0 this season when leading at the half.
Tony Allen, who is averaging 16.2 points to lead the Cowboys, made just 1-of-13 shots and was held to four points.
The Bearcats bolted to a 6-2 lead but the Cowboys scored 10 of the next 14 points. Oklahoma State was ahead 14-11 just under seven minutes into the contest when Stokes found Maxiell for a layup that ignited an 8-0 burst.
Maxiell had six points in the spurt. The sophomore forward also gave Cincinnati the lead at the break with a jumper with 37 seconds left in the half.
"We did a good job of stopping Williams and Stokes, but Maxiell just went crazy," Sutton said. "He did a good job of getting his shot and really worked hard."