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March 9, 2007

OK State upsets No. 7 Texas A&M 57-56

Box Score

OKLAHOMA CITY -Mario Boggan scored from the right block with 11.5 seconds left to give Oklahoma State a 57-56 victory over No. 7 Texas A&M in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals Friday night.

After Antanas Kavaliauskas missed a baseline jumper that could've stretched the Aggies' lead to three, the Cowboys took over possession and set up their last chance during a timeout with 21.3 seconds remaining.

Boggan took a feed at the right block, spun and laid the ball into the basket for the winning shot. A&M's Josh Carter missed a 3-pointer from the right corner, and Kavaliauskas couldn't connect on a jumper from the left side after grabbing the offensive rebound.

Carter missed another shot as the buzzer sounded, and Cowboys flooded onto the court to celebrate with leaping chest bumps and by popping their jerseys to a cheering crowd.

Boggan and David Monds scored 11 points apiece to lead the Cowboys (21-11), who rallied from nine points down in the second half and won after trailing at halftime for only the second time in 11 chances this season.

Joseph Jones led the Aggies (25-5) with 18 points, Carter scored 14 and Acie Law IV had 10.

Boggan has repeatedly come up big in crunch time for the Cowboys this season.

His putback put Oklahoma State ahead to stay in the final minute of a double-overtime win against No. 7 Pitt in December, he made a 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left in a triple-overtime win against No. 21 Texas in January, and he scored off an offensive rebound with 4.1 seconds left in double overtime against Texas Tech last month.

This one came after the Cowboys' second-leading scorer, JamesOn Curry, fouled out with 1:04 to play. That left Boggan as the main scoring threat.

Even so, he couldn't be stopped at the Ford Center - the site of his heroics against Pitt. The Cowboys have won their past six games at the arena, dating back to the 2005 NCAA tournament.

The loss knocks Texas A&M out of contention for a No. 1 seed on the NCAA bracket and continues the school's struggles at the conference tournament. The Aggies are 1-11 in the tournament's 11-year history.

It was only the second time the Aggies lost in 23 games they led at halftime this season.

Texas A&M held Oklahoma State without a basket for the first 5 minutes of the second half and took a 35-26 lead when Law fed Kavaliauskas for a wide-open layup under the basket.

Oklahoma State slowly chipped away at the deficit, getting to 48-46 on back-to-back jumpers by Monds and Curry with 7 1/2 minutes left.

Dominque Kirk pushed the lead back to six with a 3-pointer from the left corner for the Aggies, but the Cowboys were able to go ahead on a string of eight straight points that began when Monds put back his own miss.

Boggan followed with a 3-pointer, and Curry's 3 from the right wing gave the Cowboys a 55-53 edge with 3:38 remaining.

After misses by both teams, Carter hit his 3 from the left wing with 2:27 remaining, and both teams missed one shot and had one turnover before the final sequence.

The Cowboys never led in two regular-season losses to the Aggies, and hadn't reached 50 points in the teams' past three meetings. But they shrugged off those problems.

They scored the first basket on a dunk by Marcus Dove to give an immediate charge to a large contingent of orange-clad Cowboys supporters.

Texas A&M eliminated a 19-15 deficit with a 13-2 run as the Cowboys went more than 5 minutes without a basket. The Aggies led 28-22 after consecutive 3-pointers by Kirk and Carter.

Curry's layup cut it to 28-24 at the half.

For more coverage of the Texas A&M Aggies, check out Websider.com; for more on the Oklahoma State, check out OStateIllustrated.com.

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