The Cowboys still found a way to get back in it late, trying to overcome a double-digit deficit and win for the third time this season.
Cezar Guerrero hit a 3-pointer and earned two free throws with a drive to the basket to spark the 10-0 burst that allowed Oklahoma State to tie it at 61 on Brian Williams’ 3-pointer from the left side with 1:58 remaining.
The rally got a near-capacity crowd of 12,500 — drawn by free admission — pumped up. Williams then fouled Davila inside, and the senior hit both his foul shots to put the Hokies ahead to stay.
“Our guys responded with great poise. They didn’t panic,” Greenberg said. “You had guys stay aggressive, make plays, trust each other. No one chased shots and we got stops. That’s the big thing.”
Virginia Tech, the first Atlantic Coast Conference team ever to play at Gallagher-Iba Arena, will open conference play next Saturday at Wake Forest.
“We’re looking all right. I think we’ve still got a lot to work on and it’s going to be a whole different world in the ACC,” said Hokies leading scorer Erick Green, who scored 16.
“It’s something that we’re going to work on and get ready for. We have a lot of young guys but we’re going to have to get them ready and just come to play in the ACC.”
Oklahoma State opens Big 12 play Wednesday night against Texas Tech.
Ford said he didn’t know for sure how long Brown or Olukemi would be out. Brown limped to the locker room with 7:34 left in the first half. Ford said Brown was hit on the backside and reaggravated an injury suffered two games earlier.
Olukemi tried to return after injuring his right knee early in the second half, but lasted only 47 seconds before he limped off again with the Cowboys ahead 44-37 with 12:59 remaining.
“It’s his knee, so that’s never good,” Ford said. “They did all the tests on him, they said, and he was jumping around and seemed fine (before he returned). We hope it’s maybe just a sprain.”
Virginia Tech pounced after Olukemi left, using a 19-3 run to surge ahead. Hudson hit two free throws and a 3-pointer and the Hokies held Oklahoma State to only one basket over a span of nearly 7 minutes. Robert Brown’s driving layup made it 56-47 with 6:18 to play.
Green’s three free throws with 5 minutes to play bumped the lead to 61-51 before the Cowboys charged back.
“The thing about us is I think that we’ve got to learn how to keep the lead instead of falling back down and letting a team come back,” Green said. “That was a learning lesson.”