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Cowboys’ Youth Not Showing in Overtime

Mike Boynton is 5-1 games that go to OT.



[Photo via Courtney Bay/OSU Athletics]

The Cowboys’ inexperience has bitten them at times this season whether it be free-throw shooting, turnovers or giving up a second-half run, but those youthful issues fade away in overtime.

Oklahoma State is 3-0 in overtime games this season after the Pokes’ 74-69 victory against Texas Tech on Monday night. In those three games, all against ranked opponents, OSU has outscored its opponents a combined 39-21 in overtime periods.

“I think there’s just a heightened sense of awareness,” OSU coach Mike Boynton said. “It’s interesting because guys usually do have a great awareness at the end of games, so overtime is just an extension of that. Even if you’re down 8 with four minutes to go, guys play really hard. They try to execute, and they’re really aggressive. In overtime, you kind of have that same momentum except the game starts tied.”

Boynton himself has had a solid history in OT games. In his four seasons as a head coach, Boynton is 5-1 in overtime.

The one loss came in a game OSU had no business being in. It was Feb. 27, 2019 in Lubbock against a Texas Tech team that was ranked 11th in the country at the time and went on the be the national runner-up. It was the same year that OSU finished with seven scholarship players on the roster. Lindy Waters hit four 3-pointers in the final minute of regulation to even force overtime.

The other game before this year was OSU’s 83-81 victory against Trae Young and No. 4 Oklahoma in Boynton’s first season. It was perhaps the most memorable game of Boynton’s young tenure. It was the game Mitchell Solomon sprawled on the ball in front of Young.

Boynton has his team practice late-game scenarios. He’ll put four minutes on the clock and say his starters are down X-amount of points. It’s hard to fully recreate the tension of those high-pressure scenarios, but what Boynton is doing seems to be working.

“We create situations where they have to figure out how to win,” Boynton said. “We’re down 5 with 3:30 to go, Cade’s fouled out, we practice this stuff. I think because they practice it, we feel prepared for those situations when they happen in the game.”

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