It appears Oklahoma State isn’t ready to stop playing basketball this season. Tonight, Stanford became their latest victim, dropping the Cardinal by a score of 71-65 in the second round of the NIT. This gives the Cowboys their fifth win in their last six games, their best six-game stretch since the non-conference.
They will play the winner of tonight’s USC/Western Kentucky game. They could host if the Hilltoppers can pull off the upset, but if the Trojans win, they’ll head to Los Angeles for a Wednesday evening matchup.
Let’s get to the recap.
Oklahoma State opened up the first half with a solid offensive performance, but struggled to close the half, with their shooting percentage plummeting to just 34 percent from the field, and 33 percent from the 3-point line. Jeffrey Carroll was the shining light for the Cowboys in the first half with 11 points, and going perfect from beyond the arc.
Reid Travis led the Cardinals with 8 points in the first half, but went 3 for 10 from the field. He was largely ineffective in the first half, and was held below his season average. Travis posed some major matchup issues for Oklahoma State, but they were able to make do. Despite his good first half, they held Travis to 14 total points. Michael Humphrey was the star for the Cardinal, putting up 15 points and grabbing 20 rebounds. He crushed Oklahoma State on the glass all night, but it wouldn’t be enough.
The Cardinal took a 47-42 lead into the fourth quarter, but Oklahoma State quickly jumped back on top, and they never looked back.
Carroll was the MVP for the Pokes tonight. He was stellar, going 3 for 5 from the 3-point line in the second half. He would only miss two from deep all night, and would end for a career-high 5 3-pointers. He put up 13 points in the fourth quarter to put the game on ice. What a (potential) last game in GIA for Carroll.
That extra pass though #okstate pic.twitter.com/EFfCl2SbRr— Dustin Ragusa (@DustRagu) March 20, 2018
It was Kendall Smith, though, who put the dagger (axe?) in the Tree.
If there is one thing I’ve learned this season, it’s that there is only ice running through Kendall Smith’s veins #okstate pic.twitter.com/xkD8ljEQTE— Dustin Ragusa (@DustRagu) March 20, 2018
Smith ended the night with 19 points, largely struggling from the field (5 for 16) but hit three big shots from beyond the arc.