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Updated: Wednesday, March 2, 2005 11:29 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(8) Oklahoma St 69, Texas A&M 63

STILLWATER, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- John Lucas picked up where he left off Sunday against Kansas, but got a better end result this time.

Lucas scored a season-high 27 points as Oklahoma State snapped a two-game losing streak and extended the longest home winning streak in the nation to 29 games with a 69-63 victory over Big 12 Conference rival Texas A&M.

After making his first nine shots on his way to 22 points against the Jayhawks, he missed two shots in the waning moments as the Cowboys fell, 81-79.

Lucas, who scored 16 points after intermission in this one, shot 7-of-13 - including 5-of-8 from the arc - and converted all eight of his free throws.

"John brings a lot of energy," Oklahoma State assistant coach James Dickey said. "Our guys were really looking for him tonight. He made some big shots. We would like to see him get to the free-throw line more than he does. He is unselfish and makes big plays. When he gets going it gives us a lot of energy."

After the Aggies pulled within 59-58 with 2 1/2 minutes to play on a jumper by Antoine Wright, Lucas knocked down six free throws thereafter to secure the win.

"(Pressure) does not rattle us," Lucas said. "That is one reason I enjoy playing on this team so much. We can be down but you can't tell it in our body language. We are still going to go out there and fight."

The triumph was the 11th straight against the Aggies and pulled the Cowboys (21-5, 11-4 Big 12) into a second-place tie with Oklahoma, just one-half game behind conference leader Kansas, which hosts Kansas State later Wednesday.

"We came here thinking we could win," Texas A&M guard Acie Law said. "Everywhere we go, we think we can win. We did not execute down the stretch and they made their free throws."

Texas A&M (18-8, 7-8), which needed a quality road win to improve upon its chances for an NCAA Tournament bid, last beat Oklahoma State in Stillwater in the 1922-23 season.

Joey Graham assisted Lucas down the stretch, scoring nine of his 16 points in the last 5 1/2 minutes. After Lucas knocked down a jumper, Graham's three-point play snapped a 52-52 tie and started his burst.

"He did not shoot the ball well tonight but he got to the free-throw line," said Dickey of Graham, who was just 3-of-11 from the floor but 9-of-9 from the line. "Free throws is an area of his game that has been outstanding. When you are as athletic as he is, you just can not settle for jump shots. We really want him to drive and put the ball on the floor."

Law scored 22 points and Wright added 18 for Texas A&M, which had won its previous three contests - its longest conference winning streak in 10 years.

Lucas made three 3-pointers in the first 11 minutes to help the Cowboys take a 33-29 edge at the break.

After Texas A&M tied the contest at 35-35 in the first two minutes of the second half on baskets by Wright and Law, Lucas hit a 3-pointer to snap the tie. His shot from the arc with 12 minutes to go pushed the edge to 46-39.

But Wright hit a pair of 3-pointers, Bobby Leach added another and Law scored on a layup for a 52-50 lead with 8:27 left.


© 2005 STATS, Inc
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