What a season this has been for Oklahoma State and Mike Boynton. After riding the high of winning road games in Lawrence and Morgantown, the Cowboys have now dropped consecutive home games to Baylor and, tonight, Kansas State.
The Pokes entered the game as four-point favorites, and had some momentum at their back. After creating some NCAA Tournament buzz out of thin air, they were able to come back home and face a Kansas State team that had lost three of its last four games by 10 or more points. Simply put, the Cowboys laid an egg tonight.
It was surely a must-win game for both teams, but the Wildcats looked like the more disciplined and confident team for the majority of the evening.
Oklahoma State was able to find some open looks throughout the game, but couldn’t convert on a lot of them. The Pokes shot just 41.5 percent from the field, which honestly seems really high to me. They were held to just 20 points in the first half, but scored 52 in the second half (i’m_very_confused.jpg).
Telling stat about #OKState's offense tonight: Only seven assists on 27 made baskets.— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) February 15, 2018
K-State shot 55 percent from the field, and a lot of those points came on uncontested looks from inside the arc. Barry Brown led all Wildcat scorers with 25 points. He scored 37 against Oklahoma State in their first meeting, meaning he’s scored a staggering 62 points on the Pokes in two games.
Kendall Smith led all Cowboy scorers with 16 points. Jeffrey Carroll and Cam McGriff each had 13 points.
A concerning statistic for the Cowboys shows the lack of production from the bench in tonight’s game. Four guys that came off the bench combined for 15 total points on 61 combined minutes.
While it is certainly not the result Oklahoma State hoped for, all is not lost. The NCAA Tournament, albeit a difficult-to-achieve proposition, is still out there for them.
ESPN: “Is this a knockout blow for #okstate?”— Cade Webb (@CWebb_CRFF) February 15, 2018
If Oklahoma State wants to crash the NCAA Tournament party, they’ll need to steal a couple of wins. They’ve got some opportunities ahead of them, but they can’t afford another performance like tonight.
Tough loss. #okstate is probably going to need to finish conference play 3-2 to remain on the bubble.— Cowboys Ride For Free (@CowboysRFF) February 15, 2018
Remaining games: @ TCU, TTU, @ Texas, @ ISU, KU.
I’ve said all season that 8-10 in conference should be enough for any Big 12 team to make the NCAA Tournament. With the remaining schedule, I do think there’s a chance for the Cowboys to make it, but they’re going to have to steal one on the road. They’ll also have to protect home court, which is something that has been difficult for them lately. They might even need to win a couple in the Big 12 Tournament to feel safe.
No matter how it shakes out, the last five games for Oklahoma State are going to be worth watching. They’ll try to shake tonight’s loss on Saturday against TCU in Fort Worth at 7 P.M. CST. If it goes anything like OSU’s last two Saturday games, I suggest you stock up on the adult beverages now.