The Cowboys are off to a fantastic start in Kansas City in the Big 12 Tournament. Tonight, with the season on the line, the Cowboys led wire-to-wire against arch-rival Oklahoma, eventually grabbing a 71-60 win.
What this game means for the Cowboys’ NCAA Tournament hopes is yet to be seen, but given what they’ve done over the past two weeks, you’ve got to think they crack the field. Media personalities across the country made a case for Oklahoma State after tonight’s win, and it’s starting like they’ve got an incredibly good chance to make the field.
None of that would’ve been possible without tonight’s performance though, so let’s get to the game recap.
There’s no other place to start. Oklahoma State was absolutely dominant on the glass. You can look at a lot of factors as to why they won, but the rebounding edge ends up being the difference maker. They had 53 (!!!) boards compared to Oklahoma’s 27.
Per team media guide, Loyola Marymount recorded 57 rebounds vs. OU on Dec. 15, 1990. Oklahoma State grabbed 53 tonight. Almost a record setter.— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) March 8, 2018
Solomon was key on the glass for Oklahoma State. He had nine rebounds, two assists, a steal, a block and was perfect from the free throw line. Solomon would end up with one of the key plays of the game as well. During a second-half Oklahoma run, Solomon skied to block an attempted lob pass, and it led to an easy layup on the other end. That four point swing propelled the Cowboys down the stretch.
#okstate picks up its second win over the Sooners this year. Help us pick tonight's top play from the Cowboys' #Big12Hoops win. #LetsWork pic.twitter.com/Mk0HB29w2y— Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) March 8, 2018
Cam McGriff was the star of the night, dropping a cool 18 points, grabbing nine rebounds and going 4 of 5 from the 3-point line. He pushed the Cowboy lead out to as much as 16, and was on fire from beyond the arc. He also threw down this rim-rattling dunk:
Great ball movement and then the emphatic finish by Cam! #okstate pic.twitter.com/jnmIOJXbL3— Dustin Ragusa (@DustRagu) March 8, 2018
Jeffrey Carroll was a workhorse tonight, tallying a double-double. He had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Trae Young did Trae Young things, scoring 22 points on the night. At one point, it looked like he might be poised to take over the game, but credit Tavarius Shine and the rest of the Cowboy defense for shutting him down to close it out.
One of the most surprising aspects of the game was the play of Kendall Smith. He didn’t play much, and generally struggled when he was on the floor. He had 11 points, but fouled out with 2:50 left, and was a non-factor down the stretch because of it. Having put up 49 points on Kansas this season, I expect a quick bounce back from Smith tomorrow.
The Cowboys will square off with the Kansas Jayhawks tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 P.M. CST. They’ll go for the three-game sweep of Bill Self, as they look to make a potentially special run in the Big 12 Tournament.