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Notebook: Forte is Four 3-Pointers Away From Catching the “Pawnee Pistol”

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It wasn’t always pretty but Oklahoma State broke the seal on the Big 12 season and Brad Underwood reached a career milestone. Let’s get into the notebook.

  • The Cowboys got their first conference win on the road in an arena that enjoyed 17-straight wins by the the home team. Texas Tech had not lost at United Supermarkets Arena since January 23, 2016 against then No. 6 West Virginia.
  • This breaks another 17-game streak. That’s how many straight conference road losses the Cowboys brought into Saturday.
  • This was Brad Underwood’s 100th career win, making him the 10th fastest head coach to reach that mark. The conference season didn’t start like we all expected after the hot non-conference run, but it’s apparent that this team had to learn how to win close games. They took a step forward in that department today. And that was without their leading scorer.
  • This is the second time in as many Saturdays that ESPN skipped the the first half of the first half. Both times the Cowboys got off to quick starts. Maybe we should just stick with that.
  • Jawun Evans got two first-half fouls and was held to only 11 minutes in the opening period — only contributing 2 points (1-3) 2 reb, 2 assists. Then he picked up two quick fouls in less than three minutes in second half and didn’t see the court again until about the 3-minute mark. This has been an issue for Evans throughout conference play and other teams are going to continue to try to take advantage of it.
  • Oklahoma State led at half time for the the fifth time in seven conference games. To hold on and finally win one is huge for this team. It’s all about bottling that up and moving forward.
  • Live by the 3. OSU shot 7-8 from beyond the arc (88 percent) in the first half and finished the game 11-16 for a school record 69 percent.

  • Speaking of 3’s. Phil Forte (295) is now just four away from Keiton Page’s career and school-best lead in made 3-pointers (299).
  • Forte had a great all-around game pitching in 21 points (on six shots!), was 4-4 from 3 and corralled six rebounds (it seemed like 16).
  • The Cowboys started hot getting to a 17-5 lead about halfway through the first half including a 20-3 run over 4:46. They were up as many as 20 in the first half and weathered a couple of decent runs by Tech. With Evans out for all of the second half that was in question, it was huge to get this win on the road.
  • The Cowboys beat up the Red Raiders on the glass to the tune of 31-18 and 12-8 on offensive boards. Jeffrey Carroll had three offensive rebounds. Solomon had four.
  • Cowboys went up 30-10 after the three-point play dunk by Solomon and things looked like they might unravel for OSU. They gave up three quick turnovers and let Tech’s crowd get right back into the game on a 6-0 run. But
  • How old did the Red Raiders look compared to OSU’s freshman-laden roster? The Cowboys looked like a bunch of high school kids going up against the rec league all-stars at the Y. By the way, Texas Tech is the 8th most experienced team with the visiting Cowboys being the 272nd.
  • OSU up at the half for the fifth time in seven Big 12 games. This is a very young team that is still learning how to win. Unfortunately, they played three of their first five games against top 10 teams. This
  • Mitch Solo continues his improved play. He was big in the first half with 7 points (2-3) and two rebounds (both offensive) and this unholy act.

 

  • Solomon fouled out late after a two-point, two-rebound second half, but he made all five of his free throws, a couple coming at key points down the stretch.
  • Davon Dillard saw the court for the first time with about 16 minutes left in the second half.  In his eight minutes he scored four points and registered one rebound but what doesn’t show up on the box score are the three or four rebounds that he tipped to his teammates. He may never live up to our expectations and he may not be able to consistently stay out of Underwood’s doghouse but Davon Dillard is not short on hustle and effort on defense. I would like to see him play more, personally.
  • With the lead cut to 13 after a Tech 3, the crowd was on the cusp of going crazy when Brandon Averette attempted his first shot from the field in 15 minutes of play. It was a wide open 3 to put the Cowboys back up 16 with 14 minutes left. There were several late-game almost surges by Tech that OSU shut down or at least answered.
  • Dizzy has no fear. He made back to back shots that broke up Tech’s press. In the midst of 10-straight made field goals (6 for Tech, 4 for OSU), Thomas Dziagwa looked like an all-Big 12 player. He had swagger. He shot with confidence and he was completely shocked if he didn’t get a call. I love it.
  • Tech went to a full-court press for most of the second half which OSU did a pretty good job of busting up. They issues were the turnovers once they got into the half court.
  • Jeffrey Carroll is the Cowboys’ best player. I’m there. Once again he led the team in scoring. His line: 25 points (6-11, 4-5 from 3) 9 rebounds. He’s now reached the 20-point mark in five of the last six games (four straight). Carroll has made 11 of 12 3’s over the last three games, as well. I asked his on Twitter but who do you take today if you’re an NBA exec? Carroll or Evans? I think it’s at least a discussion.
  • Just one foul for Carroll, as well. That’s significant because the rest of the starting lineup combined for 12 personal fouls (Evans and Solomon combined for 9).

The Cowboys look to continue the winning ways on Monday night as they host TCU at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Tune in for that and the Forte record watch.

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