Oklahoma State defeated Stanford in the second round of the NIT in Stillwater on Monday night. The Cowboys were led by Jeffrey Carroll, who had 26 points and 7 rebounds in the 71-65 victory. Head Coach Mike Boynton spoke after the game about what this senior class has meant to him.
“It’s awesome to see those guys finish their careers the way they are” Boynton said. The Cowboys Big 3 of Mitchell Solomon, Jeffery Carroll and Kendall Smith have been huge for the Cowboys down the stretch this season. These Cowboy seniors are also “laying the foundation for what the future of this program will be,” he continued.
"It's awesome to see those guys finish their careers the way they are, having success on the court, enjoying their time with each other and really just laying the foundation for what the future of this program will be." -@thacoachmike on his seniors after tonight's win. #LetsWork pic.twitter.com/77YBv9l12b— Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) March 20, 2018
While Clip poured in a game high 26, Kendall Smith added 19 points of his own. Mitchell Solomon reached double figures with 10 points despite being in foul trouble for most of the game, before eventually fouling out. With Solomon spending more time on the bench than usual, the bench was required to step up and help carry the Cowboys late.
“We’re just such a relentless group. The guys from top to bottom compete at the highest level” Smith said. While the big 3 seniors were the only Cowboys to score in double digits, it took everyone on the roster to help defend an athletic Stanford team.
For the Cowboy faithful, it might have been their last chance to see the seniors give it their all on the white maple hardwood.
If USC defeats Western Kentucky, the Cowboys will have to travel to the west coast before potentially heading to New York. However, if the Trojans lose, OSU would host Western Kentucky on Wednesday.
“Hopefully it won’t be my last game here, so we’ll see come tonight” Carroll said.
If tonight was in fact the last time these seniors leave the floor at GIA, is there a more fitting way than for Mitchell Solomon to go down fouling out, and for Jeffrey Carroll to go unconscious from the 3-point line? Here’s to hoping these seniors get one more game inside GIA.