With the score 74-72 in favor of Oklahoma State, Byron Eaton missed the front end of a one-and-one following a Martin Zeno foul with 20.5 seconds left in the game.
Texas Tech turned the ball over when Charlie Burgess lost his balance going after a Zeno no-look pass, and James Anderson hit his last two free throws to give Oklahoma State a 76-72 win in the first round of the Big XII Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.
Tech coach Pat Knight held his head in his hands after his team failed to convert on its last possession, with a chance to tie or take the lead in the game.
"We missed eight layups in the second half, missed four out of five free throws,” said Knight.
“We made a lot of dumb mistakes. It comes from being casual. Kids think they've got a thousand possessions. They make a bad pass or they walk with it and they think they've got a couple hundred more to get it back.
"It was a hard-fought game offensively and defensively. We just made too many dumb mistakes."
The Red Raiders committed 14 turnovers and made only six of 11 free throws. Tech shot just shy of 55 percent from the field and shot 53 percent from three.
OSU committed 11 turnovers and made 15 of 21 free throws. OSU shot 50 percent from the field and 38 percent from three.
Tech had several opportunities at the end of the game to tie or win it.
After Obi Mounelo hit a two-point jumper to give OSU a 69-67 lead with 3:28 left in the game, Trever Cook was fouled by Eaton.
Cook only made one of two free throws. Burgess was fouled with 2:23 left in the game and missed both free throws, denying the Red Raiders a chance to take the lead or tie the game.
After Eaton made a two-point jumper to increase Oklahoma State’s lead to 73-70, Burgess missed a layup that could have brought Tech within one. Burgess missed another layup with 27 seconds left but got his own rebound and put it in, to make it a two-point game.
Anderson led the Cowboys in scoring and rebounds with 18 and eight, respectively.
Eaton scored 12 points in the second half after not scoring in the first. Terrel Harris had 12 points and Martavius Adams contributed 10. Eaton led the team in assists with four.
OSU coach Sean Sutton told ESPN he motivated Eaton to be the best point guard on the floor at halftime.
“I challenged him at halftime that he had to be the best point guard on the floor and he came back and scored 12 points in the second half and made a lot of big plays down the stretch," Sutton said.
Alan Voskuil led Tech in scoring with 19 points, and was five-for-eight behind the arc. Cook had 16 points and Burgess and Mike Singletary scored 14 points each.
The Cowboys held Zeno to only seven points and just two in the second half. Damir Suljagic, Cook, and Singletary led the team in rebounds with five each. Zeno led in assists with five.
Both teams went on runs to control the first half. OSU scored the opening six points of the contest, but Tech followed by going on a 14-0 run with Burgess scoring six of those points to take a 14-6 lead.
OSU tied the game with 9:02 left in the first half with Anderson scoring four points including a three, which prompted Knight to take a timeout. Tech would lead by six twice in the half, but OSU closed the first half on a 13-3 run to lead 36-32.
OSU (17-14) will play top seed Texas Friday at 12:30 PM EST in the quarterfinals of the Big XII Tournament.
After losing, Tech (16-15) will have to wait till Sunday to see if they receive an invite to the NIT, which starts Tuesday.