The Cowboys took a tough loss on the road to a short-handed Kansas State team. OSU struggled to score for stretches of the game and could not cool down junior guard Barry Brown on his career night.
The Pokes were also short-handed, now without Tavarius Shine who injured both wrists against Iowa State. He’s been one OSU’s best and most consistent players on both sides of the ball this season and Mike Boynton missed him on Wednesday night in Manhattan.
The Cowboys continue to go through these scoring droughts and the key to slowing them down seems to be just slowing them down. When Oklahoma State forces turnovers and gets into transition, they can make up ground quickly. But force them into halfcourt sets and it feels like they’re chance of scoring drops to about 15 percent.
Lowell Galindo with the understatement of the broadcast. "Halfcourt offense not the forte for Oklahoma State." #okstate
— Kyle Cox (@KyleCoxPFB) January 11, 2018
The Cowboys settled for a ton of 3s early, going 3 for 9 in the first half. After starting the second 0 for 4 from beyond the arc, OSU didn’t attempt a 3-pointer from the 12:16 mark to the 1:36 mark.
OSU fell behind has much as 9 midway through the opening period, but the Cowboys used a 10-1 run fueled, again, by transition buckets and a 9-1 offensive rebound advantage in the first. In the second half, Kansas State grabbed five offensive boards to OSU’s four.
Four Cowboys scored in the double digits with Brandon Averette leading the Pokes with 22 points on 11 shots off of the bench. The sophomore point guard also got his teammates involved with six assists.
Jeffrey Carroll scored 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting (1 of 4 from 3) and Kendall Smith and Lindy Waters chipped in 14 and 11 points apiece.
Barry Brown stepped up big in the absence of his starting backcourt mate Kamau Stokes who is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Brown scored a career-high 38 points on 12-of-17 shooting (3 of 4 from 3) and grabbed six steals.
In Stokes’ stead, redshirt freshman Cartier Diarra scored 17 points (also a career high) on 12 shots and dished four assists, grabbing four rebounds.
The Wildcats built a 9-point late-second half lead and the Pokes’ were reserved to playing the free throw game to stop the clock. K-State finished the final minutes going 7 of 8 from the charity stripe to hold on for the win.
Oklahoma State moves to 11-5 and 1-3 in Big 12 play and will face Texas in Stillwater on Saturday at 4 p.m.