STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Jeffrey Carroll scored 12 of his 18 points at the free-throw line and Oklahoma State made 32 at the stripe to beat Florida Gulf Coast 80-68 on Tuesday night in the NIT.
Oklahoma State led by 17 points at the end of the third quarter but Dinero Mercurius’ 3-pointer from the corner pulled FGCU within 70-63 with 4:16 remaining. OSU answered with four straight free throws and led by at least nine the rest of the way.
The Cowboys hit 16 of 21 from the line in the final quarter — with just two field goals — compared to FGCU’s 18 overall attempts.
Mitchell Solomon and Tavarius Shine each added 13 points for Oklahoma State (20-14), a two-seed, which will face the winner of Stanford/BYU in the second round. Lindy Waters III chipped in with 10.
Zach Johnson scored 23 points despite battling through some leg cramps in the second half for FGCU (23-12). Brandon Goodwin scored 18 points to break his own single-season scoring record at 632. The duo combined to take 39 of FGCU’s 60 field-goal attempts.
With 2.3 seconds left in the first half, Goodwin took an inbounds pass and drained a half-court shot at the buzzer to pull within 37-26.