On a Saturday without their leader Isaac “Ice” Likekele and their best player Cade “#1 Overall” Cunningham, the Cowboys continued their rescheduled road trip from hell in Morgantown, West Virginia, and FREAKING WON THE DANG THING.
The Cowboys started cold but WVU started even colder until some free throws loosened up the rim and their proficiency from the outside started to show. The shorthanded Cowboys fought for good shots at the rim to counter and kept the game close at 25-21 at the under-eight timeout.
West Virginia’s signature physical play kept the game at arm's reach by forcing the guard-missing Cowboys into a number of momentum-stealing turnovers. Meanwhile, the Cowboys down a few players weren’t able to play as much man to create some of the transition opportunities they normally thrive on. Despite all of this, the young Cowboys were able to keep the game to a close 34-39 behind 11 points from Avery Anderson and a conservatively withheld Derek Culver for WVU.
The sloppy play and the fight continued into the second half as a good possession following the under-sixteen timeout got the Cowboys within 2 at 46-48. They kept the momentum going through into a massive three-pointer from Keylan Boone to give the Cowboys a 57-53 lead at the under-twelve.
And the absolute battle of a game was on.
The teams fought back and forth for the rest of the game with never much more than a possession separating the two teams. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, Avery Anderson is a dude y’all.
Behind an incredible career-high 31 point performance, Avery Anderson was able to steer the Cowboys to the most improbable of wins, 85-80.
Bernard Kouma was big on the boards with 10 boards in the game. The Boone twins would combine for 23 points. Kalib would end the day with 12 and Keylan would score 11 off the bench. Matthew-Alexander Moncrieff would be runner-up in points scored with 18.
Oklahoma State closed it's regular-season winning four of five games against ranked Big 12 opponents. The lone loss came Wednesday at Baylor. Up next for the Cowboys is a trip to Kansas City for the Big 12 tournament, assuming the NCAA doesn’t rule on its postseason sanctions in the next few days.
Assuming Baylor defeats Texas Tech on Sunday and Texas beats TCU, Oklahoma State will play as the No. 5 seed in the Big 12 tournament and would face No. 4 West Virginia again next Thursday in the first round. The winner of that game would have the honor of facing Baylor in the semifinals. Baylor defeated both OSU and West Virginia this week.