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Five Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s 66-64 Loss to St. Bonaventure

Another rough loss for the Cowboys.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]


As has felt to be a theme with Cowboy basketball as of late — close, but no cigar.

Oklahoma State fell to St. Bonaventure 66-64 on Thursday in the first round of the Legends Classic. The loss moves the Cowboys to 1-2 on the year, and they’ll play the loser of Notre Dame-Auburn at 3:30 p.m. (Central) on Friday.

The Cowboys had a 62-58 lead with two minutes to play, but the Bonnies hit eight free throws from that point on. After shooting 52% from 3-point range Sunday against Sam Houston, the Cowboys were just 6-for-19 (32%) against St. Bonaventure.

Here are five thoughts from the game.

1. Streaky, Not Consistent

There were stretches Thursday where the Cowboys looked like a good basketball team, but then the Cowboy offense would go ghost for other stretches.

Basketball is talked a lot about being a “game of runs,” but that was a little extreme Thursday.

OSU ripped off a 10-0 run early, taking a 10-2 lead before scoring two points for about four and a half minutes.

Later in the first half, the Bonnies had a 12-3 run that produced a 28-22 lead before the Pokes caught fire again, scoring seven straight before going into the half down 30-29.

It looked as if the Pokes found the answers in the locker room, going on a 14-0 run early in the second half, taking a 45-35 lead with about 13 minutes to play. But then the Pokes didn’t score for another 3:44 while the Bonnies poured in nine in a row to cut the Cowboy lead back down to a point.

This hot-and-cold play probably has something to do with the Cowboys being young and having only three returners on their roster. If they can go from good streaks to average streaks, that’ll go a long way compared to the good and bad that Thursday brought.

2. Bad Fouls

The Bonnies’ last eight points of this game came from the foul line. They were down 62-58 with two minutes to play and didn’t hit another field goal but won the game.

Two fouls in particular stuck out. Obviously, John-Michael Wright can’t foul a 3-point shooter at the end of the game. Wright was trying to fight through a screen and got under Daryl Banks III. OSU had a 64-62 lead at that time, but Banks hit all three foul shots and gave the Bonnies a lead.

Perhaps the more atrocious foul came a few moments earlier. Wright missed a layup attempt, but Mike Marsh tried to force a jump ball. Mika Adams-Woods finally ripped the ball out of a scrum, but Marsh followed him and kept trying for a tie up in what was an ugly foul that sent the Bonnies to the line more than 90 feet from the goal. Adams-Woods hit two foul shots and tied the game at 62.

Just cannot be doing that in a tight game.

3. Free Throws Won/Lost This Game

The Bonnies free-throw prowess won them this game. Meanwhile, the Cowboys’ struggles at the line certainly didn’t help their cause.

St. Bonaventure was 18-for-21 (86%) on the day, including going 13-for-14 (93%) in the second half. OSU came into the day shooting a disgusting 50% from the line and went 11-for-18 (61%) Thursday, which is better, but still not good.

OSU might need to have some sort of Ted Lasso-esque ritual at the free-throw line in Gallagher-Iba Arena where the team burns things in a barrel in hopes of kicking whatever bad juju this is.

The Cowboys were helped by the fact that Wright went 6-for-7 from the foul line after forcing two fouls on 3-point attempts. Outside of Wright, the rest of the Cowboy roster went 5-for-11.

Mike Boynton shoots for a 75% free-throw percentage. Had the Cowboys shot 75% Thursday, they would’ve made 13 free throws instead of 11. Seems significant in a game that ended 66-64.

4. Bryce Thompson Missed Most of the Second Half

If you’re looking for an excuse, Bryce Thompson played just one minute in the second half.

Thompson was OSU’s leading scorer, entering Thursday averaging 18 points a game. He was limping around in the first half, where he scored seven points (and was 2-for-2 from the foul line).

He came back out in the second, but went to the bench after a minute on the floor an an assist on the stat sheet and didn’t return.

The Cowboys could’ve won this game without Thompson — had they hit foul shots and not fouled had those two bad fouls at the end — but having him certainly would’ve helped things.

It sounds like the Cowboys will be tasked with finding a way to win without him Friday, as Jon Rothstein reports Thompson is “probably doubtful” for the Cowboys’ Brooklyn finale.

5. Quion Williams Is the Energizer Bunny

A few Cowboys played well Thursday despite the loss.

Eric Dailey had perhaps the best game of his young career with a team-high 15 points on 60% shooting. Despite the late foul, Wright played well late, keeping OSU in things. He finished with 14 points, scoring six of OSU’s final 10 points. But, I’m going to point to Quion Williams being OSU’s best player against the Bonnies.

Williams scored nine points on 4-for-6 shooting, and OSU was eight points better than St. Bonaventure when he was on the floor. His issue was that he got into foul trouble early, playing just eight minutes in the first half.

Williams put away a tough layup with 38 seconds to play to give OSU a 64-62 lead before the 3-point foul.

He is able to fit in a lot of different places. You probably don’t want him handling the ball, but he can probably play shooting guard, small forward and power forward. He also entered Thursday as the Cowboys’ leading rebounder, averaging seven a game because his motor just doesn’t stop. Whatever is needed, Williams will give it all to get it done. If OSU can get more consistent elsewhere, Williams could be an invaluable piece to this roster. Sort of like Draymond Green without the headlocks and groin kicks.

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