Despite having two great chances to get the go-ahead bucket with just a few ticks of the clock remaining, Oklahoma State could not get the ball in the basket. As a result, they fell 66-65 to the Arkansas Razorbacks, as the two teams split the home-and-home series as a part of the Big 12/SEC challenge.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the Cowboys built a huge lead, blew it in the second half and lost on the road.
After getting the first basket 24 seconds into the game, the Cowboys held the lead for the following 28:46, with the lead stretching all the way to 13 points for Mike Boynton’s squad.
The Cowboys shot an even 50 percent in the first half, including 13 bench points, 16 points in the paint and 11 second-chance points. In the second half, they shot 22.7 percent (5-of-22) and made only 1-of-8 attempts from beyond the arc. Cam McGriff had the only two bench points, the Cowboys had four points in the paint and four second-chance points.
Just how bad was the second half? Let’s check in with Mark Cooper.
Twelve of #OKState's 23 points this half have come at the FT line. Two field goals since the 16:29 mark.— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) January 28, 2018
It’s hard not to wonder how this game would have been different had Boynton been able to use Kendall Smith and Tavarius Shine. Smith was left in Stillwater with an illness, and Shine’s troublesome wrist didn’t allow him to go today.
So despite only having nine players at his disposal - all of whom scored at least once - Boynton came close to getting his first true road win of the season. (No, Florida State was technically not a true road win. It was played at a neutral arena.)
But, as they say, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
#OKState coach Mike Boynton: "We just didn’t make enough plays. That’s what it came down to. It wasn’t about having another player. It was about we just didn’t make enough plays in this game with the guys we had."— Nathan Ruiz (@NathanSRuiz) January 28, 2018
Lindy Waters had 17 points to lead the Cowboys. Add that to his seven rebounds, and Waters had a nice game – if not for the five turnovers. He was forced into the ball-handling position when Brandon Averette needed a breather, and it was clear he was not comfortable in the position.
McGriff pulled down 10 rebounds and had three assists to go with eight points today to add to the sophomore show today.
The Cowboys did a great job shutting down both Jaylen Barford and Daniel Gafford. Both players scored six points, and Gafford was only able to collect four rebounds. However, it was Daryl Macon that propelled the Hogs to a win. The senior guard had 22 points tonight on 7-of-13 shooting.
With the loss, the Cowboys fell to 13-8 on the season. The Razorbacks continue their success at home, with today’s win making them 11-1 in Fayetteville this season.
Up next, the Cowboys have a quick turnaround as they host TCU Tuesday night in Stillwater. TCU also lost its Big 12/SEC Challenge game to Vanderbilt 81-78. The Horned Frogs are on a bit of a skid, losing five of their last seven games. The action gets started at 6 p.m. from Gallagher-Iba Arena.