Oklahoma State guard and former Flower Mound Marcus star Phil Forte went from goat to hero in a matter of seconds Thursday night at the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament at the Sprint Center.
The Cowboys (24-7) escaped a furious Baylor rally to win 74-72 and advance to the semifinal round where they play Kansas State at 9 p.m. Friday.
Forte fouled Baylor’s Gary Franklin on a 3-pointer with 19 seconds remaining and Franklin made the free throw to complete the four-point play to tie the game at 72-72. The Bears (18-14) clawed back from a 20-point deficit behind Pierre Jackson’s game-high 31 points.
After Franklin tied the game, Forte was fouled at the other end and made both free throws to give OSU the two-point lead with two seconds on the clock. Jackson’s 3-point attempt rimmed out as the buzzer sounded.
Never miss a local story.
Baylor trailed for almost the entire game and was down by 12 with six minutes to go when Jackson ignited the comeback. He scored 12 points in the final four minutes.
His one late mistake was a missed free throw that allowed OSU to maintain a 70-68 lead with 32 seconds remaining. Marcus Smart hit two free throws to give OSU a 72-68 lead with 25 seconds to go to set up Franklin’s four-point play.
Baylor is forced to wait to learn Sunday whether it earns an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Kansas 91, Texas Tech 63
The top-seeded Jayhawks shot a Big 12 tournament-record 66 percent from the field and pulled away from the Red Raiders early in the second half before an afternoon session crowd of 17,996 at the Sprint Center.
Guard Ben McLemore led the hot-shooting Jayhawks with 24 points, making 8 of 12 shots. McLemore scored 12 of KU’s first 15 points, including two dunks and two 3-pointers as the Jayhawks took a 13-2 lead 5:33 into the game.
The Red Raiders rallied after falling behind 15-2 with an 8-0 run that included five points from Dejan Kravic. Kravic, who hit the game-winning lay-up at the buzzer to beat West Virginia on Wednesday, finished with a team-high 20 points.
Kansas (27-6) advances to play Iowa State (22-10) in a semifinal at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
KU finished the first half on a 7-0 run for a 34-25 halftime lead. In the second half, the Jayhawks improved from 61.9 percent to nearly 70 percent, including 7-of-10 from 3-point range.
Rio Adams made 4 of 5 shots for 11 points in just five minutes off the bench.
Tech’s Dusty Hannahs was 3-for-4 from the 3-point arc for 15 points but the rest of the Red Raiders were 1-for-8 from long range.
Fort Worth All Saints ex Jordan Tolbert scored 13 points and had six rebounds for Tech, which shot 39.6 percent from the field.
Iowa St. 73, Okla. 66
The Cyclones overcame a 14-point first-half deficit to beat the Sooners.
ISU started slow from outside, making just 1-of-12 shots from 3-point range before halftime. The Cyclones heated up in the second half, shooting 50 percent, including 6-of-14 from 3-point range.
The Cyclones trailed by 13 with 9:39 remaining but Will Clyburn scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, including seven consecutive points to tie the game at 60-60 with 4:10 to go.
After OU took a two-point lead, Clyburn gave ISU the lead with a three-point play after being fouled on a layup.
Arlington Oakridge School ex Chris Babb, who scored 10 points, hits a 3-pointer with 36 seconds remaining to give ISU a five-point lead.
Melvin Ejim, who led the Cyclones with 20 points, made two free throws to seal the win with seven seconds left.