Both Oklahoma State and Georgetown were without their starting point guards, but Mac McClung stepped up with a game-high 33 points to hand the Cowboys their first loss of the season, 81-74, on Wednesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Death.
OSU (7-1) was without Isaac Likekele (illness), while James Akinjo and Josh Leblanc were no longer with the Hoyas after being kicked off the team.
Lindy Waters III got most of the point guard duties for OSU, going 9-for-18 from the field for 29 points with six rebounds and six assists. Cameron McGriff was efficient hitting 7 of 8 shots for 20 points, and had six boards, one assist and one block.
Waters scored nine of his 29 points on his first three shots from beyond the arc. GU couldn’t miss either and not only were the Cowboys unable to separate, but the hot shooting actually built the Hoyas two separate nine-point leads at 26-17 and 32-23. The Cowboys cooling off, sloppy turnovers and a questionable charge call on Yor Anei for his second foul didn’t help either.
The whistle didn’t seem to go in OSU’s favor often at all. To compound the situation the defensive intensity wasn’t where it was with Anei on the bench and neither was their interior offense.
Toward the end of the half the Cowboys were able to settle into their defense and grind their way back to only a four-point deficit following a late Cam McGriff 3-pointer. He had a perfectly efficient 4-for-4 performance for 10 points, while Waters poured in 15. McClung matched Waters’ point total in the first.
The Cowboys kept clawing in the second half and took their first lead since the game was 12-11 on a strong Anei cut to the basket. A poetic foil to the one that took him out of the game early and the Pokes went up 51-48.
An 8-0 run saw the Cowboys take a five-point lead at 53-48, but the Hoyas answered with their own run that put them up 64-58 at the under eight timeout.
The Hoyas were able to hold the Cowboys at arms’ length the rest of the way and the Cowboys fell to their hot shooting 74-81.
It was a tough night for the Pokes where everything was falling for Georgetown and arguably the Pokes’ two best players, Anei and Likekele, sitting on the bench or in bed sick. The lack of interior presence of Anei on both ends made a massive difference. In limited minutes, Anei only managed four points, two blocks, a steal and no rebounds. Speaking of rebounds, the Pokes were out-rebounded to the tune of 43-29. The driving ability, tough defense, and control of the offense of Likekele were sorely missed.
The Cowboys couldn’t get stops when they needed, and weren’t able to close down the stretch despite taking the late lead.
The Cowboys they host Wichita State (6-1) on Sunday at GIA.