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Five Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s 81-65 Loss to Texas

On a killer Texas run, OSU’s struggles on the glass and more.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]


The Cowboys’ final meeting on the hardwood with the Longhorns as conference foes ended in a blowout loss for the Pokes.

Texas beat Oklahoma State 81-65 in Austin, extending the Cowboys’ losing streak to three games. The Cowboys drop to 12-17 on the year and 4-12 in conference play with two regular-season games to go. Here are five thoughts from Saturday’s game.

1. The Run That Ended It

This game was tied at 52 … for all of 15 seconds. Then the Longhorns didn’t look back.

Texas promptly ripped up a 14-0 run across the next 3:02, a run that included a trio of OSU turnovers and saw the Longhorns go 5-for-7 from the field.

That run was telling of the game as a whole. The Longhorns took an 11-point lead in the first half before OSU roared back to within 3. But it was like the Longhorns could just turn it on whenever the Pokes got too close, as Texas went into the half with a 9-point lead. The Cowboys could get up to that hump but could never get over it.

2. Goodbye, Brock Cunningham

Brock Cunningham is in his sixth season in Austin. After a redshirt in 2018-19, it is as if Cunningham made it his five-year mission to destroy the Cowboys.

He entered Saturday as a career 36% 3-point shooter, which is good. But in 10 games against the Cowboys, he has hit 59% of his 3s. Cunningham scored a career-high 15 points against OSU last season in Austin, and three of his top 18 scoring outings have come against the Pokes — a significant stat considering Cunningham has now played in 142 games.

One way or another, this abusive relationship was set to come to an end this year, as Texas is joining the SEC next season and Cunningham is mercifully exhausting his eligibility. But it makes sense that Cunningham gave the Cowboys one for the road, as Saturday he had eight points, seven rebounds and hit two of his three 3-point attempts.

3. Second-Chance Points Again an Issue

Brandon Garrison has been living in foul trouble as of late, and the result has been the already undersized Cowboys have been getting throttled on the glass.

Texas outrebounded OSU 39-28 on Saturday, but the real killers were the 17 offensive rebounds Texas brought down (four from Cunningham) that resulted in 22 second-chance points. OSU, for comparison’s sake, had eight offensive boards and a single second-chance point.

Texas scored 16 second-chance points in the second half, which seems significant in a game OSU lost by 16 points.

Quion Williams led OSU with seven boards, and Mike Marsh — who played his best minutes in some time — had six, but the Cowboys just haven’t consistently won on the glass enough. In the past two games, OSU has lost the second-chance point battle a combined 39-10. Giving up 29 points over a two-game stretch isn’t a winning recipe.

4. Turnovers Also an Issue Saturday

Javon Small looked good in spurts Saturday, but the reality is if he has an off day facilitating, it’s going to be an uphill climb for this young group.

Small had one assists to five turnovers against Texas, still scoring 13 points and going a perfect 4-for-4 from the stripe. Williams also had 13 points but had four turnovers to two assists. Marsh actually led the Cowboys with three assists, but the center also had three turnovers.

In total, the Cowboys coughed the ball up 15 times, which led to 24 Texas points. Twelve of those takeaways were steals for Texas. Live-ball turnovers are typically more difficult to defend, as the team giving the ball away doesn’t have time to set up defensively, which bit the Pokes quite a bit Saturday.

5. John-Michael Wright Is on a Heater

John-Michael Wright’s college career is coming to an end, and he is going out in a blaze of glory.

Wright scored a game-high 18 against the Longhorns, going 4-for-9 from 3-point range. He was a big part in the Cowboys clawing back to tie the game at 52, as he stepped into back-to-back 3s during OSU’s 8-0 run to tie it up.

He has scored in double figures in 11 of OSU’s past dozen games. During that stretch, Wright has averaged 13.3 points a game and has hit 36 3-pointers.

Barring some magical run in the Big 12 Tournament that would have a movie made about it, OSU isn’t going to make the NCAA Tournament and Wright will have never made in the Big Dance in his five-year career. But from transferring from High Point and contributing at Oklahoma State the past two seasons, Wright has had a heckuva career. He’s up to 2,112 career points as a 6-foot-1 guy who was a zero-star recruit out of high school.

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