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January 26, 2008

A&M ends three-game skid in Stillwater

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Dominique Kirk hit the go-ahead free throws with 44 seconds left, and No. 18 Texas A&M held on for a 59-56 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak.

After Kirk put the Aggies (16-4, 2-3 Big 12) up 57-56, the Cowboys squandered their first chance to move ahead when forward Ibrahima Thomas -- a 64 percent free throw shooter -- came up empty on two foul shots with 20 seconds left.

Texas A&M's Donald Sloan, who was fouled after grabbing the rebound, missed the front end of a 1-and-1 before James Anderson, Oklahoma State's leading scorer, missed a 3-pointer that could have put the Cowboys (10-9, 1-4) on top.

Bryan Davis made two free throws for the Aggies with 3.9 seconds left, and Sloan stole Oklahoma State's inbounds pass after a timeout and tossed it into the rafters to end the game.

Josh Carter, who injured his leg and briefly left the game in the final sequence, scored 13 points to lead Texas A&M, which bounced back after a five-overtime loss to No. 25 Baylor on Wednesday. Kirk and Joseph Jones scored 11 points apiece.

Anderson led Oklahoma State with 15 points, while Thomas added 13 and Obi Muonelo 10.

The Cowboys, who are off to their worst start in Big 12 play, were held scoreless after Anderson hit one free throw with 2:52 remaining to make it 56-53. Byron Eaton was whistled for an offensive foul on their next possession, and Marcus Dove couldn't connect in the lane after Sloan had tipped in his own miss to get A&M within a point.

Kirk was fouled while rebounding Dove's miss, and that proved enough for Texas A&M to escape with the win.

It was evident early that the Aggies were coming off a five-overtime game only three days earlier. They turned the ball over on eight of their first 13 possessions, but got back on track in time to pull ahead 34-32 on B.J. Holmes' 3-pointer just before halftime.

When they weren't turning the ball over, the Aggies shot 51.2 percent from the field and outrebounded Oklahoma State 32-23.

Thomas pushed the Cowboys into the lead by scoring four straight Oklahoma State baskets to launch a 15-6 run. He had a two-handed jam off a nifty pass from Anderson, followed that by tipping in Eaton's miss to put the Cowboys ahead 41-40 with 13:40 remaining, and then added a right-handed hook shot.

But on the Aggies' next possession, Thomas was called for his fourth foul while defending a post move by Davis and had to go to the bench. The Cowboys still were able to extend their lead, with Anderson's 3-pointer from the left side making it 50-44.

Carter hit a 3-pointer to get Texas A&M within one before Thomas returned, and then made a runner from the right side to put the Aggies up 53-52.

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