Five Interesting Stats From OSU’s Win Over West Virginia

[USATSI]
Written by Phillip Slavin

The Cowboys shocked everyone but themselves by heading into Morgantown, West Virginia and upsetting the No. 19 Mountaineers on Saturday.

It was an amazing win, and maybe even more important (and improbable) than the one just a week earlier in Lawrence.

There was plenty to like aside from the win, and a lot of interesting numbers and stats to take away from the game. Here are the five that stuck out to me.

10-20-14-20-10

For the first time all season, all five starters scored in double figures.

Starters

They’ve been close before, including just a week ago at Kansas when Solomon was two points shy of achieving the feet. It seems Boynton has finally found his best starting line-up, especially when these guys all play up to their potential.

83.3 percent

After their worst performance at the charity stripe since the Maryland game in 2014, OSU got back to doing one of the few things they do best: hitting free throws.

The Cowboys made 24 of their 28 attempts at the line, led my “Crime Dog” McGriff with a perfect 13-13. With the bounce-back performance, OSU got its season average back up to 76.1 percent.

64-24

Credit for this one goes to Mark Cooper.

When Mike Boynton calls Solomon one of the most important players on the team, it’s not hyperbole. I’m not sure we will ever truly appreciate both the development of Mitchell Solomon as a player under the guidance of Mike Boynton, as well as how important he was to this program the last two seasons.

20 = Victory?

Kendall Smith and Cam McGriff tied for team lead in points at 20.

Interesting fact, and I’m still not sure what it means yet, but in four of OSU’s five Big 12 wins Kendall Smith scored at least 20 points. He hasn’t reached that mark in any of the Cowboys’ losses.

The transfer point guard has shown improvement as of late. In his last six games, Smith has only shot below 40% overall once, against Baylor.

I’m not totally trying to correlate Smith scoring 20 with OSU winning games, but something has to be said for how important it is to the team for Smith to make plays and buckets for this team.

41.7 percent

The Cowboys had one of their best 3-point shooting games of the season, hitting 10 of 24 attempts. Porter pointed this one out in his notebook, but it bares repeating.

OSU moves to 12-1 on the year when taking 20+ 3-pointers and shooting better than 30 percent.

This points to how much OSU’s offense relies on the three, and why they’ve struggled in games so much because of their inability to hit them. But when Lindy “ice” Waters, Jeffrey Carroll, and Kendall Smith are hitting them, this team is dangerous.

I’m still of the opinion that this team is at its best when it gets the ball inside to McGriff, Solomon, and Sima, and getting to the free throw line. But when they’re feeling it from beyond the arc, look out.