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Cowboys beat Florida Gulf Coast in the 1st Round of the NIT, 80-68

The Cowboys now face the winner of Stanford-BYU tomorrow.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Kansas v Oklahoma State Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

With a bitter taste in their mouths after being left out of the NCAA Tournament, the Cowboys took the floor at home against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament. In what was at times an ugly basketball game on both sides, the Cowboys were able to hold on for an 80-68 victory.

The first quarter (that feels weird to say) was very sloppy for both teams. Despite five turnovers in the quarter, the Cowboys took a 14-11 lead. The Cowboys were able to get a lot of good looks at the baskets and shot selection was great, but shots did not fall. The second quarter was much better for the Pokes, in which they hit 5 three-pointers and started making more shots on offense. Oklahoma State was able to force 12 first half turnovers on the Eagles, leading to 15 points. The Cowboys led at the half 37-26.

Here are the first half stats:

Florida Gulf Coast and Oklahoma State were trading buckets for most of the second half, but thankfully the Cowboys had a double-digit lead. At one point, the Eagles brought the lead back down from 23 to 6. After that, the Cowboys stretched the lead back to around 15 where it stayed for the rest of the game. Jeffrey Carroll, after a slow first half, turned it on in the second. He did nearly all his damage at the free throw line; he had 12 of his 18 points from the line.

Kendall Smith struggled shooting tonight, with seven points on 1-11 shooting. But, he still contributed eight rebounds, four assists, and solid defense on Brandon Goodwin. Mitchell Solomon poured in 13 points and nine rebounds.

And also this glorious 3-pointer:

The Cowboys were able to get 28 points from the bench, with 13 of them coming from Tavarius Shine.

Here are the final stats:

The Cowboys now await the winner of the Stanford-BYU game tomorrow night. The next game in Gallagher-Iba Arena is sometime between Friday and Monday, date and time to still be announced.