Mike Boynton’s crew entered an arena in Upstate Connecticut where, by game time, there were nearly as many people on the floor as there were in the stands.
Maybe I exaggerate.
But not by much.
Oklahoma State traveled to the Northeast for a two-day event called the “Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase” featuring UMass Lowell, Central Connecticut State University, NC State, and OSU. I will be in attendance with my son Wednesday night when the Cowboys take on the Wolfpack, seated only a few rows behind Mike Boynton, Dave Hunziker, and John Holcomb. Should be fun as I’ve had the same experience at previous events OSU attended in the NYC area.
At the time of this writing, NC State is having a bit more difficulty than the Cowboys, leading CCSU 49-47 with around 11 minutes remaining in the game. Tonight’s action was not carried by any network, but you could access streaming via FloSports. Wednesday’s OSU-NC State game will be carried on CBSSN.
As for the River Hawks and Cowboys, it was somewhat of a repeat of the Prairie View A&M game, with Oklahoma State demonstrating a clear superiority in talent and athleticism, but refraining from utilizing those muscles to put away a feisty but inferior opponent. UMass Lowell was coming off a 59-58 win over Dayton.
OSU was again not great from the line, finishing 16-24 (66.7%). They were an effective 30-51 (58.8%) from the floor, but only 4-11 from behind the arc. UML was worse from distance, but took 10 more 3’s than OSU to make five, plus taking seven more attempts from the floor for the night. This kept things much closer than they should have been for most of the game. The Cowboys had pushed the lead to 15 late in the first half only to allow UML to pull within 10 at the break. Within less than four minutes in the 2nd half, the River Hawks had cut the lead to eight, but OSU then went on a 10-0 run that settled the matter for the evening. UMass Lowell would get no closer than 13 the rest of the game as the Cowboys SLOWLY pulled away.
OSU had five players in double-figures, led by Bryce Thompsom with 14 points. Keylan Boone once again stepped into the absolute VOID of three-point shooting, going 3-4 from deep. Cisse brought down 11 boards.
While Oklahoma State won the battle of the boards (37-27) and had 19 assists on 30 made shots, they also committed 19 turnovers and 22 fouls.
My observation so far has been this...they have yet to show great energy on both ends of the floor, are sloppy with the ball, and seem to still be finding their way regarding offensive chemistry. I completely understand that Boynton is playing a LOT of people whose minutes will diminish as we get into conference play, but I’m still waiting to see who will be the “guy” or “guys” that can go get their shot when things break down. Anderson has not really flashed much of what we saw from him late last season. Thompson seems to have some promise, however the half-court game has felt stagnant, and it continued in that direction tonight until Rondel Walker turned up the volume on his own which seemed to get things going for OSU. He only had one steal, but his energy definitely helped the Cowboys finally find the gear to put away UML.
As stated, next up will be NC State at 8pm ET Wednesday night on CBSSN. Keep an eye out for me behind the coaches and the radio crew.