Oklahoma State nearly blew a 16-point second half lead, and held off a late rally from Oral Roberts to beat the Golden Eagles 80-75 in the season opener for both teams at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater on Wednesday night.
The Cowboys led 39-30 at halftime and built the lead to 50-34 early in the second half, then had a nearly six minute stretch without a made field goal, allowing the Golden Eagles to chip away and get within one several times late in the game.
Isaac Likekele made OSU’s three baskets, all of them big ones in response to ORU making another bid to tie or take the lead.
Likekele finished with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Yor Anei was another big key for the Cowboys, blocking eight shots, including one by ORU with 27 seconds left that could have made it a two-point OSU lead.
Anei added 13 points for the Cowboys.
ORU missed their final five field goal attempts in the game.
OSU made their free throws down the stretch as well, making 16-of-21 in the second half, and were 26-of-34 overall for the game.
Cameron McGriff had 10 points, all at the free throw line, where he was 10-for-10.
Lindy Waters added 15 points and Keylon Boone came off the bench to score 11 for OSU.
The Cowboys shot just 38 percent from the field, but held ORU to 34 percent.
Rebounds were even 46-46, and OSU committed 21 turnovers.
The Cowboys next will host Missouri-Kansas City Saturday in Stillwater at 2:00.