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Instacap: Cade Cunningham Leads OSU Past Arkansas 81-77

The Cowboys needed hot shooting to overcome another high-turnover effort.

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[Photo via Courtney Bay/Oklahoma State Athletics]

We had to wait until the second half for things to really heat up, but we got the showdown between projected lottery picks that we wanted.

Cade Cunningham led the Cowboys to an 81-77 victory in his return, scoring 21 points (7-of-13 shooting, 2-of-5 from 3). He also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists.

His former Montverde teammate, Moses Moody, led the Razorbacks with 17 points and grabbed four boards, but Cade got to take home bragging rights in what will likely be their only college meeting.

It was a choppy first half for the Cowboys. A series of runs were interrupted by some sloppy turnovers and sporadic droughts.

Avery and Anderson and Bryce Williams each started perfect, taking (and making) the Cowboys’ first five field goal attempts and pushing them to a 13-6 lead.

But after turning in an ugly 24 turnovers in the win over Iowa State, the Cowboys coughed it up 15 times in the first half. OSU ended the day with 19 turnovers, leading to 22 Arkansas points.

OSU was still able to go into halftime with a four-point lead thanks to the Pokes shooting 55 percent from the field and outrebounding the Razorbacks 25-11. (I wonder what that looks like without all the unforced errors.)

Returning after a two-game absence, Cunningham checked in for the first time at the 16:38 mark. He took a few minutes to shake off the cobwebs but added seven points, six rebounds and two assists in the opening period.

Here was the last one before half.

But Cade’s time is crunch time.

After Arkansas was able to put together multiple runs in the second half and threatened to ruin his return, Cunningham turned it on, scoring 14 in the final frame.

It was over when… Cade took over

Cade finished it.

Arkansas still had a chance to take the lead when Connor Vanover got an open look at 3. But he missed and Cade Cunningham collected the rebound and was fouled, giving OSU’s star the chance to ice it. Cade knocked down both free throws to seal the win.

Kalib Boone came in on a streak of 11-straight made field goals and then proceeded to make his first five on Saturday. Boone did finally miss, but not many. He finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. He hauled in half of the Cowboys’ 12 offensive boards. Avery Anderson and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe chipped in 13 and 11 respectively.

Next up

Oklahoma State heads to Ft. Worth next Wednesday for a late night matchup with TCU.

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