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Oklahoma Sports

March 14, 2013

Oklahoma State survives first round of Big 12 tournament

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  Phil Forte hit two free throws with 2.9 seconds left and No. 14 Oklahoma State survived after blowing a 20-point lead to beat Pierre Jackson and Baylor 74-72 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament Thursday night.

Marcus Smart scored 21 points and LeBryan Nash had 14 for the Cowboys (24-7), who built a big first-half lead and then watched it all disappear as the Bears (18-14) desperately fought back.

Jackson, who finished with 31 points, got a good look at a potential winning 3-pointer after Forte's two free throws. Racing up the sideline, he pulled up from the wing and let go a shot that clanked off the back iron as the backboard lit up to signal the end of the game.

The Cowboys advanced to play No. 11 Kansas State in the semifinals, a rematch of a game won by Oklahoma State last Saturday. The Wildcats routed Texas in their quarterfinal game.

Baylor struggled to shoot in the first half, but Jackson got on a roll and scored 24 points over the final 20 minutes. His 3-pointer with 38.5 seconds left got Baylor within 68-67.

Forte, a 91-percent foul shooter, made two for the Cowboys, and Jackson was fouled at the other end but could only make the first of two free throws for Oklahoma State.

Baylor was forced to foul again, and this time it was Smart who made two free throws.

The Bears came charging down the floor and got the ball to Gary Franklin in the corner in front of his bench. He let go of a 3-pointer and was fouled by Forte, and the ball splashed through the net. Franklin's free throw knotted the game with 19.1 seconds remaining.

The Cowboys waited for time to draw down on the game clock, and Forte came loose off a screen and gathered a pass in the lane. He was bumped by the Bears' Deuce Bello with 2.9 seconds left, calmly stepped to the foul line and atoned for his foul at the other end.

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