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Five Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s 82-60 Victory against Ole Miss

On Kalib Boone’s scoring spree, Woody Newton and more.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]



STILLWATER — The Cowboys looked as comfortable as they have all season in a commanding win against an SEC opponent.

Oklahoma State beat Ole Miss 82-60 on Saturday in Gallagher-Iba Arena in the annual Remember the Ten game. The win also helped the Big 12 top the SEC 7-3 in the Big 12-SEC Challenge.

Here are five thoughts from the game.

1. Boone Thrashes Rebels

Since the turn of the calendar, Kalib Boone has failed to reach double figures only one time, averaging 15.1 points a game in that time.

He was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field Saturday, scoring a game-high 18 points while also recording four rebounds, a block, a steal and an assist in 22 minutes on the floor.

Ole Miss was double-teaming Boone aggressively early, but after Boone coolly passed out of it a few times, the Rebels started leaving only one guy on him. That allowed Boone to go to work. He was either hitting a hook shot or getting fouled.

“We didn’t really know what they were gonna do in terms of defending him,” OSU coach Mike Boynton said. “Obviously, they started the game double-teaming him pretty aggressively, and he didn’t force it. He just made simple plays, which helped make the game easier for him to score late. He hit Woody (Newton) for a 3. He hit a couple guys on cuts for layups. Then they gotta stop double-teaming, and he was able to play in single coverage where he’s really good.”

2. Have a Half, Woody Newton

Woody Newton was the first player in this game to get to double figures, not something I had on my bingo card.

Newton tied a career-high with 12 points, all of which came in the first half. He had been introduced into the starting lineup with his ability to space the floor, but after hitting an early 3, he did the rest of his work at the rim, scoring four first-half layups.

Ole Miss was doubling Boone in the post with Newton’s man. So when his man would leave, Newton would cut to the basket and get a layup.

“KB has been real dominant, and teams have took recognition of that and they’ve been firing him in the post,” Newton said. “That allowed me to get easy backdoor cuts in the first half. They made that adjustment in the second half and things changed, but that’s what happened in the first half, a lot of backdoor cuts.

“… Scoring the ball, a layup, a jump shot, it don’t matter. It’s scoring. It goes on the scoreboard, your stats, I’ll take the easy points. I’m fine with that.”

3. Cisse Looks Healthiest He Has since Injury

Moussa Cisse played only seven minutes Saturday, but he looked as healthy as he has since suffering an ankle injury Jan. 2 against West Virginia.

Against the Rebels, Cisse scored one point while stuffing a shot and recording four rebounds. But it was the way he moved that stood out. In warmups, he threw down a tomahawk dunk and landed comfortably. It looked like the old Moussa Cisse.

Cisses has been in and out as of late. He missed OSU’s games against Texas, Kansas State and Baylor before playing sparingly against OU on Jan. 18. He played 14 minutes against Iowa State last Saturday before reaggravating the ankle in a battle for a late rebound. That forced him to miss OSU’s game against Texas on Tuesday. But after playing a little bit Saturday, it seems as if he is back on the right track.

“He’s getting close,” Boynton said. “It’s still, obviously, gonna be a deal that we monitor closely, but he felt really good today. So we thought we’d throw him out there and give him a shot to get a little bit of wind in his legs and go from there.”

4. Free Throws Were Finally Free

The Cowboys have had some not-so-great free-throw shooting nights (like shooting 12-for-21 against Texas or 16-for-28 against Iowa State), so let’s remember this one.

OSU made a season-high 22 free throws Saturday, going 22-for-25 (88%). It’s also the third-highest percentage OSU has shot this year with the others being 89% against Kansas State (8-for-9) and 90% against Oakland (9-for-10).

Anderson was the biggest benefactor of the Pokes getting to the line, going 11-for-11 and finishing the night with 17 points. Boone also hit six of his eight free-throw attempts.

“They were in drop coverage (on pick-and-rolls), so I just wanted to really attack the big,” Anderson said. “The defense was mostly staying out because we got good shooters, so just really attacking the big and trying to get to the line.”

5. Big 12 Unsurprisingly Beats SEC

The SEC was able to take a few games off the Big 12 on Saturday, but as a whole, the Big 12-SEC Challenge solidified the Big 12 as the nation’s premier basketball conference.

The Big 12 finished the day with a 7-3 win. The three Big 12 losses were on the road. Sure, Kansas beat a relatively floundering Kentucky squad (floundering by Kentucky’s standards), but the games that really showed how good the Big 12 is was OU’s 93-69 win over No. 2 Alabama and Texas Tech’s 76-68 win over LSU.

The Sooners looked ready to be put out of their misery after three straight Big 12 losses by a combined 45 points. Then the big, bad Tide showed up to Lloyd Noble Center and got rolled from start to finish. Alabama is unbeaten in SEC play and could not hang with a bottom-three team in the Big 12.

Texas Tech and LSU are both struggling in their respective conferences. Tech is 0-8 and LSU is 1-7. Not having won a game this calendar year, Tech went to Baton Rouge and won by eight.

It’s the first time the Big 12 has won this event since 2019. It’s the last year of the event, and OSU finished it 7-3.

Big 12-SEC Challenge Results

West Virginia 80, Auburn 77
Oklahoma 93, Alabama 69
Missouri 78, Iowa State 61
Texas Tech 76, LSU 68
Mississippi State 81, TCU 74
Baylor 67, Arkansas 64
Tennessee 82, Texas 71
Kansas State 64, Florida 50
Oklahoma State 82, Ole Miss 60
Kansas 77, Kentucky 68

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