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Five Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s 72-57 Victory against Tulsa

On turnovers, Miranda’s debut and more.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]


OKLAHOMA CITY — The Cowboys didn’t quite look like an NBA team in an NBA arena, but they got back in the win column, which is all that matters.

Oklahoma State beat Tulsa 72-57 on Sunday at Paycom Center. It snapped a two-game losing streak for the Pokes and bumps their season record up to 4-5. Here are five thoughts on the game.

1. Turnover Palooza

Entering Sunday night, the most turnovers OSU had in a game this season was 14. The Pokes had 14 at the half against Tulsa — and were somehow winning.

OSU went into the locker room with 14 turnovers to just 13 made baskets, and again, the Cowboys were winning the game. The Cowboys had 13 of those turnovers in a 10:57 stretch. OSU scored just 14 points in that 10:57, making only four field goals.

So, that stretch accounted for a good chunk of OSU’s turnovers, but the Pokes finished with 28 Sunday. The program-high for turnovers in a game was 30 in 1988 against Oklahoma. Those 28 turnovers Sunday led to 19 Tulsa points.

How does OSU basketball get weirder in 2023? By winning a game by double figures despite turning the ball over 28 times and making 23 field goals.

Turnovers hadn’t been much of an issue to this point in the year. OSU entered the night fifth in the league, averaging just 11.3 a game. Maybe it was the bright lights of playing on an NBA floor. Whatever it was, it was ugly in OKC.

“Clearly the turnovers were an issue today, which is very disappointing because it hasn’t been an issue,” OSU coach Mike Boynton said. “Something we were very intentional on addressing in the offseason, and we’ve done a pretty good job for the most part through our first eight games of not turning the ball over a lot. Today was just one of those wacky combinations of they’re a really aggressive defensive team. They play for steals a lot by nature. And we kinda took our foot off the gas a few times. That led to some careless play.”

2. Isaiah Miranda’s Debut Didn’t Exactly Go to Plan

Isaiah Miranda made his long-awaited college debut Sunday. It didn’t start off the best.

In his first stretch of action, he had a rebound, a turnover, a common foul and a technical foul. And he did all of that in two minutes on the floor.

Miranda and Tulsa’s Jarred Hall had a coming together on an OSU possession that ended with Hall pulling Miranda to the floor, garnering a foul. Then when Tulsa got the ball, Hall was in position to screen Miranda. Miranda gave Hall a bit of a stiff arm to the chest to keep Hall away from him. That got whistled before Hall then shoved Miranda in the back and both got techs and went to the bench.

Those two minutes were the first bit of competitive basketball Miranda has played in some time. He enrolled at NC State at the start of the spring semester last season but didn’t make an appearance with the Wolfpack. He then suffered a hip injury after just a minute on the floor in OSU’s exhibition against Oklahoma Baptist. That kept him out until OSU’s game against New Orleans on Nov. 20, where Miranda was set to debut before rolling an ankle in shootaround that kept him out until Sunday. So it’s been one thing after another.

It’s a big deal because Miranda has enough potential to fill Paycom Center. He is 7-foot-1 and can jump out of the gym. He can defend the rim and shoot the 3. Playing on the Thunder’s court, Miranda could be OSU’s Chet Holmgren if it could just come together.

Miranda got back in during the second half and showed a little bit of that potential. He was at the top of a zone. Guys his size are usually on the bottom of zones, but he can move laterally like he is 6-5. He poked a ball free from a guard in that zone, diving on the floor to retrieve the ball. Not long after, Miranda followed an OSU miss with a put-back dunk in which he was eye-level with the rim.

3. Defense Stiffens

How were the Cowboys able to win despite giving the ball away 28 times? Defense.

OSU’s defense hasn’t been outstanding this season. Entering Sunday, the Cowboys ranked bottom of the Big 12, allowing teams to shoot 43% from the field. Well, Tulsa shot just 37% from the field in OKC. The Golden Hurricane came into the day averaging 79.6 points a game and put up only 57 on the Pokes. It was a season low in field-goal percentage and points for the Golden Hurricane.

That defensive performance would’ve been even more dominant had the Cowboys’ offense not given up a handful of breakaway layups off turnovers.

4. Dailey, Garrison Building Some Rapport

The Cowboys raced out t0 a 17-3 lead to start the game, and a big piece of that was freshmen Brandon Garrison and Eric Dailey Jr. being in sync with each other.

The tandem scored seven of those 17 points, and all seven of those points came off passes from the other.

It stared with a Dailey-to-Garrison alley-oop before Garrison returned the favor to a slashing Dailey for a layup. Then Dailey drew an extra defender before dropping another pass off to Garrison for another dunk. Then Garrison dished a pass to Dailey that led to a Tulsa foul, where Dailey hit one of his free throws.

Much like the Miranda, it’s should be exciting for OSU fans to see these two working well with each other given their pedigree. Garrison was a McDonald’s All-American coming out of Del City High School, while Dailey spent this past summer with Team USA at the U19 World Cup. Both were in the Top 50 of their recruiting class.

5. Quion Williams Efficient (Sans Turnovers)

Sophomore sparkplug Quion Williams contributed five tallies to the turnover count, but outside of that, he was outstanding Sunday.

Williams scored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting. He went 1-for-1 from 3 and 1-for-1 from the line. He also tied Garrison for a team lead with seven rebounds. Williams also led the Cowboys with four assists and with three steals. And he tied with Javon Small for a team-best +19 in plus/minus, meaning the Cowboys were 19 points better than the Golden Hurricane with Williams on the floor. That’s a winning stat line.

If Williams can keep putting in performances like that, it could go a long way in turning things around for the Pokes.

“His effort and focus coming into this game was really, really good,” Boynton said. “Talking about all the right things, asking the right questions about the scouting report. He’s been taking pride in guarding the other team’s best perimeter player. He had the assignment of (PJ) Haggerty to start the game. He asked for that on Wednesday when we started prep, coming back from Southern Illinois. Really just proud of him embracing that role and really figuring out other ways to impact our team in winning ways other than scoring.”

Mike Boynton Postgame News Conference

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