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RECAP: Pokes handle UTRGV 102-83

Cowboys finish out non-conference play strong with win

NCAA Basketball: Tulsa at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys closed out non-conference play this afternoon with a 102-83 win over UT-Rio Grande Valley, a school that just might have the worst acronym in sports. Just imagine chanting U-T-R-G-V, it would be exhausting. To top that, their mascot is the Vaqueros (not to be confused with El Vaquero on the strip) which is either the coolest or weirdest mascot ever.

The first ten minutes of the game was surprisingly a back and forth affair. UTRGV forward Mike Hoffman hit a three with 11:28 remaining in the first half to put the Vaqueros up 16-15, the last point in the game they held a lead. From there, the Pokes went on a 21-4 run over the next several minutes and never looked back. The 53-34 halftime lead marked the most points the Cowboys have scored in a half this season and the second time they’ve scored over 50 in a half.

The turning point of the game came midway through the first half when the Cowboys upped the pressure defensively, forcing several turnovers in multiple possessions in a row leading to Cowboy buckets. UTRGV just didn’t have the horses to handle that kind of pressure and they more than likely won’t see anything like it again this season.

Oklahoma State had four players in double figures in Carroll, Shine, Solomon, and Smith. Carroll put up over twenty points for the 18th time in his career and moved to 36th in all time scoring at Oklahoma State. Every active player on the Cowboy roster saw time in this one, with 10/11 players putting points on the board.

After attempting only one free throw against Tulsa, the Cowboys were far more aggressive in driving to the lane today. The Pokes shot an impressive 29-34 from the line (85 percent). This is important because the Cowboys aren’t a team that can completely fall in love with outside shooting and expect to win games against tougher opponents.

Up next we finally reach conference play, and its a big one. The 10th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers will be in town on December 29th. So go enjoy the Holidays, be with family and all that fun but when its over you have two options. If you have the means, go to Orlando and support our football team but if you don’t do that, #GYAtoGIA on the 29th. There will be some big boy basketball to watch.