Paul Scruggs scored 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting to lead Xavier to a 77-71 victory over host Oklahoma State in a Big East-Big 12 Battle contest on Sunday night in Stillwater, Okla.
The Musketeers (7-1) picked up their third consecutive victory and dealt the Cowboys (6-3) their second consecutive loss, both coming at home. All three of Oklahoma State's losses this season have been by nine points or fewer.
Scruggs left the game with 7:23 left in the second half after coming down awkwardly and grabbing his upper left leg. He returned later in the second half to finish the game and hit one of two free throws with 18 seconds left to help seal the outcome.
Avery Anderson III led the Cowboys with 26 points, five rebounds and three assists. Bryce Williams had 11 points in 22 minutes off the Oklahoma State bench.
Xavier's Colby Jones scored five of his 17 points during an 11-0 run that the Musketeers used to open up a 69-55 lead with 4:03 to play. Jones also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds as Xavier outrebounded Oklahoma State 42-33.
Oklahoma State, which struggled with its outside shooting throughout the second half, found some rhythm when Woody Newton hit back-to-back triples to cut the deficit to eight with three minutes left.
The Cowboys would get as close as seven but Xavier would pull away thanks to some clutch free throw shooting to offset a late shooting drought.
Nate Johnson hit two free throws with 1:22 remaining and Jones hit a triple with 52 seconds left to snap a nearly six-minute stretch for the Musketeers without a field goal and put them ahead 76-66.
Johnson finished with 15 points, and Xavier shot 23-for-31 from the free throw line.
Oklahoma State struggled against a zone defense the Musketeers implemented in the second half which led to the Cowboys missing eight of their first nine 3-point attempts of the second half. They made 7 of 26 from that distance overall.
--Field Level Media