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Oklahoma State fend off tenacious Yale squad 64-57

Lindy Waters III scored 19 points as the Cowboys celebrated Native American heritage

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 02 Iowa State at Oklahoma State Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Lindy Waters III scored 19 points to help lead Oklahoma State Cowboys to a 64-57 win over Yale on Sunday at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Waters, a Kiowa/Cherokee Tribe member, also pulled down five rebounds in his final Native American heritage game in Stillwater. Isaac Likekele had 11 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals for the Cowboys, who improved to 4-0.

Paul Atkinson scored 16 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for Yale (2-2), who were last season’s Ivy League champion and nearly upset No. 3 seed LSU in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The game started out with great energy on both sides of the ball. Cameron McGriff was playing aggressive (more of that, please) and the defense forced turnovers left and right as the Bulldogs had as many turnovers as points eight minutes into the game.

With OSU’s freshmen looking somewhat out of place, coach Mike Boynton played his starters for most of the game. Avery Anderson III showed glimpses of his potentially elite on-ball defensive prowess as his lateral quickness makes him a nightmare for ball-handlers. This statement from commentator Bryndon Manzer summed it up nicely:

Avery Anderson has the chance to be one of the best ball-hawks to ever play at Oklahoma State.”

This, from Anderson, was also nice to see. He needs more work on the offensive side, but he does seem to play with a nice feel for the game.

Yale got hot from 3-point range, and Eric Monroe’s trey tied it at 48 with 6:54 remaining as the shot clock expired. The Bulldogs, however, missed three consecutive free throws and Waters drilled two 3s of his own and a mid-range shot for OSU to pull away.

Additional thoughts

  • OSU likes to take charges.
  • What would this team look like with Marcus Watson? Is he the first guy off the bench?
  • The offense seems to actually run plays to get guys good shots. Remember those Travis Ford teams who seemed to have no offensive identity?
  • Is Likekele not a poor man’s Russell Westbrook? Big, physical point guard who loves to generate contact, can finish, and is too big for most other point guard’s to deal with in the paint. He also struggles to shoot (for now)

What’s next?

The Cowboys remain home to take on Western Michigan at 7 p.m. Friday.