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Oklahoma State Downs ORU 80-75 in Opening Game of 2019-20 Season

Pokes win (in a closer game than expected) to start the season in GIA.

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There may have been more eyes on the stands than there were on the court as Bryce Thompson attended OSU’s home opener, but the ones who watched saw the Pokes get past ORU 80-75 to start the year in GIA.

Mike Boynton’s squad never trailed in the win, but they tried to late after building an early double-digit lead on the back of senior Lindy Waters’ shooting. ORU rumbled back in the first half, but OSU took a 9-point lead into the locker room led by Waters with 10 and Yor Anei with 9.

The second half started as if it was going to be an absolute rout. OSU took a 12-point lead with 8 minutes left on Keylan Boone’s third 3-pointer of the game (more on him below). But ORU got it all the way down to one point in the waning minutes.

The second half (and really the entire game) saw plenty of freshmen time as OSU rolled with 11 guys who all played at least 10 minutes in the game. But OSU turned to its vets when things got dicey late. Isaac Likekele, Cam McGriff, Thomas Dziagwa and Yor Anei scored the final 17 points to give OSU a 5-point win.

Likekele was the primary closer, but Crime Dog scored 10 points on zero shots made, which is kind of amazing and a testament to his mettle coming home. He made four free throws in the last 58 seconds.

Keylan Boone was the surprise of the night. He hit three 3-pointers and had 11 points in 10 minutes in his first game in the orange and black.

He was joined on the offensive end by Likekele, who turned in a neat 18-9-5 line and reminded everyone how problematic he’s going to be this season. Anei joined the party on both ends with a 13-10-8 (blocks) line.

The most exciting parts of this game were when OSU got out and ran it a little bit. The athleticism they have — especially against a team like ORU — can be overwhelming, and their guard play in the open floor is 🔥.

On the more disconcerting end, OSU turned it over … a lot. It got them into trouble late as they coughed it up 21 times and were lucky ORU didn’t capitalize more than they did. Ice then closed as Ice does, but it wasn’t exactly an encore to yesterday’s massive recruiting coup.

OSU is going to be far deeper than it’s been over the past few years and could play three or four freshmen at once and be fine, but there’s a lot of growth to be had here. Marshall Scott will be along later with five thoughts from Stillwater, but here are some superlatives from the first OSU game of the year.

OSU-ORU Superlatives

Favorite moment: Students painting dominoes on their chests and chanting, “We want Bryce!” whenever Bryce Thompson entered the gym. Because I am a human and the human condition is to never be satisfied with literally anything, I am already past Cade and dying for some good Bryce news next week.

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Most impressive: Would be easy to go Keylan here given his stat line, but I think Avery Anderson might be a fella. A dude. A guy. He doesn’t really know what he’s doing yet, but his defensive athleticism is supreme and he does not look like a freshman.

Eye-opening play: Hidde the goat went up and swatted a shot in the first half that was Yor-like.

Dad of the evening: Papa Hidde was rocking Little Hidde’s Euro jersey. Page 1 of the dad playbook.

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Gaffe of the night: Nope!

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Stat of the night: Cam going 0-6 from the field with 10 points is something special. Also, Yor now has 29 blocks in his last four games for OSU. That’s amazing.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. chase

    November 7 at 1:26 pm

    I agree on Anderson, he is super quick and athletic. Can get to the lane easily and his defense tenacity is nice to see

  2. Class of 1970

    November 7 at 1:27 pm

    Bryce clearly saw that the Cowboys need him badly.

  3. OKstate Grad

    November 7 at 1:27 pm

    Worried a little about the defense, but these types of games happen all the time in basketball, with all teams. Not sweating it, just glad we’re 1-0. They’ll get to where they need to be soon enough.

  4. Cowboydroid

    November 7 at 1:28 pm

    Man what an ugly second half.

  5. Imwideopen

    November 7 at 1:29 pm

    1. Do we not intend to have an inside game, or do we actually not have one? I know the NBA-style 3 ball game is all the rage now, but its boring when players can’t hit shots.
    2. Very average play tonight with lots of misses (dry spells) and bad passes. Gotta think the constant substitutions affected the players ability to get in a rhythm.
    3. ORU’s defense was much more effective than ours.
    4. Yor is other-worldly when it come to blocking shots.
    5. Avery is going to be a really good player for us and Keylan’s stroke is silky, silky smooth!

    • Josh Roberts

      November 7 at 1:53 pm

      First game and the 10th game will be night and day different, especially with freshmen playing major minutes.

  6. Garrett Winters

    November 7 at 1:31 pm

    Way to go students for showing up to the game and persuade Bryce to choose us…what else did the student have to do on a Wednesday night in Stillwater?!? GIA was empty.

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