Updated at: 12/01/2012 3:05 PM
By HANK KURZ Jr.
(AP) BLACKSBURG, Va. - Erick Green scored 28 points and hit eight critical free throws in the final 76 seconds Saturday to help Virginia Tech remain unbeaten and handed No. 10 Oklahoma State its first loss, 81-71.
Robert Brown added 18 points and Jarell Eddie had 15 with 12 rebounds for the Hokies (7-0) and first-year head coach James Johnson. It’s their first 7-0 start to a season since 1982-83.
Le’Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart scored 18 each to lead the Cowboys (5-1), who lost to the Hokies for the fourth straight time, all in past three seasons.
The game was close throughout, especially after Tech saw what had been an eight-point led cut to 69-66 on Markel Brown’s deep 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:22 remaining.
Brown missed the front end of a one-and-one for Virginia Tech, but as Oklahoma was setting up its offense, Green stole the ball and was fouled driving toward the basket. He made both, pushing the Hokies’ lead to 71-66. Nash made 1 of 2 at the other end, and Green was fouled again with 53.8 seconds left.
He made both again, and finished the game having made 51 of his last 53 from the line.
Green played only nine minutes in the first half after drawing two quick fouls, but scored the Hokies’ first 10 points of the second half on a pair of 3-pointers, two free throws and a long fadeaway.
Jarell Eddie’s 3-pointer gave Virginia Tech a 49-46 lead with 15 minutes left. Forte scored for Oklahoma State, and Robert Brown put back his own miss. Smart’s drive cut the Hokies’ lead to 51-50 with 13:17 to go, but the Cowboys didn’t score against for 5:05 as the Hokies reeled off seven straight.
The Cowboys used a 9-2 run featuring five points by Smart to close to 60-59, but after the Hokies’ Robert Brown and the Cowboys Kamari Murphy traded baskets, Virginia Tech scored seven of the next nine. Eddie scored on a drive, and Brown was credited with a basket when Philip Jurick was called for goaltending. After Nash’s driving bank, Marshall Wood was fouled twice and made 3 of 4 free throws.
Markel Brown’s 3-pointer from the top of the key for the Cowboys made it 69-66 with 2:22 left.
The Cowboys led 36-32 at a first half in which both teams took turns going on short scoring bursts. The biggest of those was an early 10-0 run by Oklahoma State that gave it a 12-7 lead. The score remained close until 3-pointers by Smart and Phil Forte around an inside basket by Michael Cobbins gave the Cowboys a 34-26 lead. Virginia scored six of the last eight points in the half to get within four at the break.
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(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)