CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - John Lucas scored 14 of his 21 points in the final 6 1/2 minutes of the first half, and Joey Graham got No. 7 Oklahoma State off to a fast start after halftime in a 86-61 win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Monday night.
The outbursts by the two seniors made sure that the Cowboys (10-1), coming off a loss that dropped them four spots in this week's Top 25 poll, avoided a huge upset.
Corpus Christi (9-4), an NCAA independent in just its sixth season, hosted a ranked team for the first time and had a seven-point lead midway through the first half.
Graham scored eight points in a 13-0 run the first four minutes after halftime to push the Cowboys ahead 44-28. That included his emphatic putback slam of a Lucas miss off the glass.
The Islanders had five turnovers in that stretch - matching their first-half total - and all but one led to points for Oklahoma State.
Graham finished with 20 points and nine rebounds for the Cowboys, who played their last non-Big 12 game of the season. Daniel Bobik had 12 points and Ivan McFarlin 11.
Oklahoma State shot 65 percent (34-of-52) from the field.
Corpus Christi, already with wins this season over Baylor, Florida State and TCU, was led by the Bailey brothers. Thomas Bailey had 21 points and Travis Bailey had 13.
A crowd of 8,431 filled the new American Bank Center sitting on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. The floor was the same one used in the Alamodome last April when Oklahoma State played in the Final Four.
After shaking some early jitters that led to some wild missed shots, the Islanders scored eight straight points over a 5 1/2 minute stretch to go ahead 13-6. Thomas Bailey had consecutive long jumpers before Chris Daniels' short turnaround in the lane.
Lucas took over a few minutes later.
The Islanders led 18-14 before Lucas hit a 3-pointer with 6:18 left. After a frustrating sequence when he couldn't save an errant pass and was called for a foul, Lucas hit a go-ahead jumper.
Thomas Bailey then put and kept Corpus Christi ahead with six points in less than two minutes. But McFarlin's layup gave Oklahoma State a 26-25 lead before six straight points by Lucas.
It was the 765th win for Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton, two shy of matching Henry Iba for seventh on the NCAA career list. Sutton played for Iba at Oklahoma State from 1955-58.
Before the game, Corpus Christi coach Ronnie Arrow presented Sutton with a cowboy hat. Unlike some other schools in the past, Oklahoma State fulfilled its contract to return a home game.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.