Oklahoma State Basketball: Cowboys get back to winning ways against Texas
The Oklahoma State basketball team defeated the Texas Longhorns 84-71 at Gallagher-Iba Arena yesterday to get back to their winning ways of late.
The Oklahoma State basketball team notched another win after the no. 6 Baylor Bears halted their winning streak at five games on Feb. 8. Yesterday, they welcomed the Texas Longhorns to Gallagher-Iba Arena for the second meeting of the season between the two teams. It was also a great opportunity for the Pokes to claim another victory to get closer to .500 in the Big 12.
OK State entered yesterday’s matchup against the Horns with a 15-9 (4-7 Big 12) record. Moreover, OK State’s chances at a NCAA Tournament bid look good right now but another loss to a team like UT would hurt their chances.
The first time around the Pokes lost to the Horns in Austin 82-79. Tables turned yesterday with an 84-71 victory for OK State. The Cowboys controlled the game pretty much the entire way leading to a comfortable 13 point victory.
Senior shooting guard Phil Forte led the way for the Pokes as he scored 18 points on 7-11 shooting. He also grabbed two rebounds and got four assists. He tied junior forward Jeffrey Carroll for a team-high in points yesterday. Carroll posted 18 points, two rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
Maybe the best news for the Pokes was the play of sophomore guard Davon Dillard and senior forward Leyton Hammonds. Dillard posted 15 points, eight rebounds, and one steal, off the bench. Meanwhile, Hammonds posted 11 points, four rebounds, and one steal. He was also perfect from the field.
However, a growing pain for the Pokes is paint defense. OK State struggled mightily the last two games stopping opposing bigs. BU’s senior forward Johnathan Motley had his way in the paint easily on his way to an eventual double-double. Furthermore, UT’s freshman center Jarrett Allen had a fantastic game with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Hammonds’ performance yesterday coupled with senior forward Mitchell Solomon’s recent emergence, the Pokes do have some hope in the front court.
The play of Forte and sophomore point guard Jawun Evans ranks among the best back courts in the Big 12. Forte has found his shooting stroke for good, it seems, and that does wonders for the floor spacing for the Cowboy offense. That will pay dividends against teams like the Iowa State Cyclones and Kansas Jayhawks, that pose some of the nation’s best back courts, to finish the regular season.
Up next for the Pokes is a trip to Fort Worth, TX, to take on the TCU Horned Frogs on Feb. 15. The Pokes defeated the Frogs in the first meeting between these two squads ended in an 89-76 victory for the Pokes at GIA. OK State will need a victory to continue their quest up the Big 12 standings.
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