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Five Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s 71-61 Victory against Oklahoma

On the Cowboys’ bigs. Boynton’s 100th win and winning the bubble battle.

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

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NORMAN — The Cowboys beat their rival Sooners by double digits, but in reality, it was a bigger beating than the final score let on.

Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma 71-61 on Wednesday in Lloyd Noble Center. The Cowboys led by as many as 22 in the second half to secure the sweep over their Bedlam rivals. Here are five thoughts from the game.

1. Kalib Boone Goes Nuclear in What Could Be Final Bedlam

Kalib Boone plays at his best when there is energy in a building. OU making tickets free to this game might’ve sealed the Sooners’ fate.

In front of 13,431 mostly crimson-clad fans, Boone scored 18 points, going 8-for-10 from the field Wednesday. Boone already had six points and an assist five OSU possessions into the game. He then started the second half just as hot, scoring the Cowboys’ first six points. He was unguardable and everyone in the gym knew it. And he did all of that in 17 minutes because he didn’t need to play much more than that.

“Being from Oklahoma, and being a part of this rivalry, mentally, it’s something different,” Boone said. “I respect OU. Can’t say the other part about it. I respect them to the point I’ll say nice things about their school, but when it’s time to play them, like I said last year, it’s little brother against big brother. That’s how I view it.”

2. Welcome Back, Moussa Cisse

Recovering from a nagging ankle injury, Moussa Cisse played 18 minutes Wednesday — the most he has played in a game since suffering the ankle injury — and he was dang good.

Cisse tied a career-high with 18 points. And it wasn’t like Cisse spent his night hanging on the rim, he was hitting elbow jump shots. He was 4-for-4 on jumpers. But don’t worry, he was still his ridiculously athletic self.

“I just let the game come to me,” Cisse said. “So today, I just let the game come to me. I didn’t think about it. I don’t really go over there to score. I go over there to do my job. My job is to play defense, rebound the ball, block shots, and bring energy and play hard. Offense is going to take care of itself.”

3. Glass Not an Issue

An OSU storyline of the past few weeks (since OSU went small with the addition of Woody Newton to the starting lineup) was tough times on the glass. But that wasn’t an issue against the Sooners.

The Cowboys outrebounded OU 42-32. OSU had a 14-6 advantage on the offensive glass which led to a 13-2 advantage on second-change points. Newton was the Cowboys’ leading rebounder with 10 on the night, a career high.

The Cowboys’ rebounding woes might not be dead and buried. The Sooners really didn’t have an answer for OSU’s length and athleticism, but a night like Wednesday was a good step forward.

4. Boynton 100

Mike Boynton’s 100th win came in Lloyd Noble Center with 13,431 fans cheering against him.

This is just the third time OSU has beaten the Sooners in Norman since Eddie Sutton era ended. Mike Boynton now has two of those wins. He is now 8-5 against OU. He joins Henry Iba, Eddie Sutton, Travis Ford and Paul Hansen as the only five coaches to win 100 games as the Cowboys’ coach.

“Here’s what I’ll say, no coach is good without good players,” Boynton said. “In those 100 wins, I haven’t scored a basket or grabbed a rebound. I got ejected out of one of the losses. Maybe I could have helped a little bit better. But it’s a testament to having good players and a good staff. I’ve been really blessed to have an administration who allows us to do our jobs at a really high level.

“It’s certainly something notable I’ll think about, talk to Ace [Boynton’s son] about it later on in life.”

Has the Boynton era been smooth-sailing? No. The Cowboys have only made the Tournament once. But does he hit the fanbase right in the feels when he rips off six of seven against bitter rival OU? It sure does.

5. Back in the Field (per Lunardi)

The Bedlam Bubble Battle goes to the Pokes.

Both of these teams entered the day in the First Four Out of Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology. Lunardi wrote that the winner of this game (OSU) would be back in the field, so when his bracket updates Thursday, the Cowboys should be there.

Now, it doesn’t guarantee the Cowboys will remain in the bracket up to Selection Sunday, but for the first time in a long time, it feels like the Cowboys are back on even footing. They’re no longer trying to dig themselves out of the hole that was losses to Southern Illinois and UCF. What matters from here on out is the games on the floor — not what happened in the nonconference.

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