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Instant Recap: Oklahoma State Guaranteed Losing Regular Season After 77-71 Loss to UCF

OSU dropped to 12-16 with three games left.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

It’s officially impossible for the Cowboys to be a winning basketball team this regular season.

Oklahoma State lost to Big 12 newcomer UCF 77-71 on Wednesday night in Gallagher-Iba Arena. The loss put OSU at 12-16, so with only three games left in the regular season, the best the Cowboys can do is finish a game below .500. Winning out and also getting a win at the Big 12 tournament would put the Pokes at .500. It will be OSU’s first losing record since the 2018-19 season when Mike Boynton was literally getting guys from the football program to add to his diminished team.

A winning season looked to still be possible early, as the Cowboys led by as many as a dozen in the first half. John-Michael Wright was a big part in OSU’s jolted start. At one point early, Wright was outscoring UCF by himself, 13-11. Although Wright was impressive all night with a game-high 22 points — also his most points as a Cowboy — his efforts alone weren’t enough to keep OSU’s lead.

The Cowboys eventually led only 42-38 at halftime after going the last 4:37 without a field goal. Brandon Garrison put OSU up 12 before the drought started and UCF outscored the Cowboys 14-6 the rest of the half. All of OSU’s points from then on in the half came from the free-throw line, while UCF made three from beyond the arc during that span.

UCF only went from fighting back to knocking out in the second half. The Knights scored the first seven points of the second half to take their first lead of the night 22:06 into the game. Both teams avoided runs until the Cowboys became the fighters with a 7-0 run that started with 7:51 left and put them within one, down 64-63. Javon Small was responsible for all of OSU’s points during the run, scoring via two free throws, layup, free throw and layup.

Small finished with 13 points, five rebounds and a pair of assists. Freshman Eric Dailey Jr. reached double digits for the second straight game with 15 points.

It was difficult for the Cowboys to finish the job, though, with six players battling foul trouble with at least three fouls, including Small who ultimately fouled out with 26 seconds left. The final foul count ended at 28-26, with OSU having more. Sixty-six free throws were shot in the game while both teams hit the double-bonus in both halves. The Cowboys were 24-30 from the line, while UCF was 27-36.

What’s Ahead

After two games in Stillwater, OSU will travel to Austin to take on Texas at 1 p.m. Saturday. That game will be televised on ESPN2.

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