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Updated: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 12:29 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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Nebraska 74, (4) Oklahoma St 67

LINCOLN, Nebraska (Ticker) -- Joe McCray and Aleks Maric reminded Oklahoma State, first things first.

McCray scored 22 points and Maric posted a career-high 15 to give Nebraska a 74-67 victory over No. 4 Oklahoma State in a Big 12 Conference game.

The Cornhuskers (12-12, 5-8 Big 12) won for the fourth time in their last 12 games and ended the Cowboys' six-game winning streak.

"We knocked the ball loose a couple of times and scored off that," said Nebraska coach Barry Collier about the 19 forced turnovers. "We don't have to press to create turnovers. We can create turnovers by being aggressive. They were scoring at a pretty good clip and without the turnovers they would probably have been ahead."

Oklahoma State (20-4, 10-3) fell back into a first-place tie with Kansas in the conference standings and will take on the Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kansas on Sunday.

John Lucas made consecutive 3-pointers to cap an 18-7 run that opened the contest for Oklahoma State. But Maric scored seven points and helped Nebraska gradually eliminate the deficit and tie the score, 32-32, at the half.

Maric continued his hot shooting with six more points during a 17-4 burst in the opening moments of the second half that pushed Nebraska to a 49-36 advantage. McCray later scored nine straight Cornhuskers points for a comfortable 62-50 edge with 2:48 remaining.

"It felt good," Maric said. "I was feeling ready to play. I had the same urgency as everyone on the team. When you have the No. 4 team coming to your house, you have to be ready."

Jake Muhleisen scored 11 points and Charles Richardson added 10 for the Cornhuskers, who shot 56 percent (27-of-48) from the floor and have a 34-13 home record against the Cowboys.

Nebraska recorded its first victory over a top-five team in 15 outings, dating back to a win over No. 3 Missouri in the 1994 Big Eight Conference Tournament.

"It's great to get a win, especially in the Big 12," Muhleisen said. "We played well as a team, had a great effort and we communicated better than ever tonight. This game shows what we're capable of doing when we play with high energy."

Lucas scored 20 points and Daniel Bobik added 14 for Oklahoma State. Joey Graham and Ivan McFarlin fouled out late in the second half.

"I have always thought that their defense is very good," Cowboys coach Eddie Sutton said. "Tonight they were switching much more than they normally do when we play. I couldn't get Joey Graham or Ivan (McFarlin) to roll to the basket when they were switching. It was just a bad game at a bad time."

The Cowboys were held to less than 70 points for the fourth time this season and suffered their first loss since freshman JamesOn Curry moved into the starting lineup.


© 2005 STATS, Inc
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