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Recap: Oklahoma State Falls in Big 12 Opener 69-63

The Cowboys drop their conference opener for the third straight season.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

After breaking their four-game losing skid with a shakey two wins against sub-par opponents, the Cowboys ended up back in the loss column to start conference play.

The Cowboys fought their way into a competitive game after falling behind by 12 early, and even took leads at various points in the game, but ultimately faded down the stretch.

The Pokes took a one-point lead into half, led by captains Cam McGriff and Lindy Waters. They would then fall behind early in the second half before clawing their way back to a three-point lead. The Cowboys looked poised to take control of the game behind a smaller GIA crowd that was just doing their best to produce some energy, but they were unable to maintain the momentum. They relinquished the lead and never led again after an Iowa State three tied the game at 46.

The Cowboys showed some flashes in the game, like on this Michael Weathers dunk:

But in what has become a theme, they were unable to maintain that energy and focus for the full game. An 8-0 run put the Pokes up three, and a 10-0 run for the Cyclones just as quickly seized the game back in Iowa State’s favor.

The Cowboys got nice performances from McGriff, who had a double-double with 15 points, 13 rebounds (ties a career high), and 5 assists, Waters (15 points, 5 rebounds), and Weathers (12 points). Unfortunately, that won’t be enough most nights in the Big 12, and the Cowboys will need to be more efficient and make more timely shots if they want to turn things around in conference play.

There next test won’t be any easier, as the Pokes take on Bedlam rivals Oklahoma in Norman. OU is currently ranked 23, and lost their Big 12 opener on the road at KU 63-70.