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OSU brushes off Cade Davis, Sooners for 81-75 win

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BOX SCORE

The Story
The story was, as you’ve come to expect, all about what happened at the free throw line. Samuel at Cowboys Ride For Free wrote a really intriguing post the other day about home/road free throw differential that put OSU near the top of the conference in terms of getting good calls at home.

Saturday was no different as OSU went 36-44 from the stripe compared to OU’s 24-26. This also allowed the Cowboys to enhance their undefeated record when shooting more FT than their opposition.

The game started off poorly enough. OU jumped out to a 21-5 lead before Travis Ford, in an homage to Kelvin Sampson, started undressing inside the coach’s box at the 13:37 mark with OSU down 17-6. He flung his sports coat into the second row and garnered a well-deserved technical. At the time I wrote, “good technical by Ford, perfect timing and they needed it. We’ll see if it does anything.”

Well, it did.

OSU used a 15-4 spurt to outscore OU 33-25 the rest of the half and take a manageable 3-point deficit into the locker room.

Reid Gettys and Dave Armstrong openly discussed whether or not Ford’s technical was premeditated, finally landing in the “it was just a reaction” camp. It might have just “been a reaction” fellas, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a guy as intense as Ford in a game as weighty as this one who wasn’t trying to pick something up to get his squad going.

It seemed for the first half like Darrell Williams was the only one who got that memo too. He stuck OU for a 14-8 spot through the first 20 minutes.

The Sooners tried to will themselves upon OSU in the second half but the Cowboys D was having none of it. Cade Davis and co. finished Bedlam with 7 total assists and at one point in the second half went nearly 9 minutes without a FG.

OSU didn’t exactly blow it open during that stretch though. Their biggest lead came with eight seconds left when they finally went up eight and slammed the door on OU’s 5-game winning streak dreams.

OU was in foul trouble all night, and it caught up them when Cade Davis picked up #4 and had to sit from the 16-minute timeout to the 8-minute. The foul situation killed them for other reasons too. Their starters are all averaging over 33 minutes/game but Capel was forced into playing four bench guys 12 minutes or more in this contest. Plus, OSU’s big three scorers had the following FT stats: 11-12 mark for Keiton, 11-13 from JPO, and 8-10 from Darrell. OU isn’t going to win many games against this OSU team when that happens.

OSU’s big advantage down the stretch is the fact that Keiton is such a cooler. It’s a phrase Bill Simmons coined for Ray Allen and refers to the fact that a FT shooter like Allen (or in our case Page) can put a tight game on ice if you can get the ball in his hands in the waning minutes.

When it was Over
When Markel (a 55% FT shooter) hit both with 57.2 seconds left because OU basically had to hit three threes in a row and that, my fellow Cowboy fans, was not happening today.

Stat I Loved
Oklahoma State is now 40-4 at home under Travis Ford. The haters can keep hating but that’s a crazy statistic.

How OSU Could Have Lost
If they’d missed their free throws. It would have been difficult to go to the line 44 times and lose but I think this team could have found a way.

Player of the Game
I have to keep going back to Darrell Williams. He threw up a 18-12-3 line while only playing 19 minutes (!) because of foul trouble (crazy, I know!) and matchup issues. He does yeoman’s work on the boards too. Most people only see the end result or maybe even the box score but he’s always working, always positioning himself in the most advantageous spot possible to be a factor on the boards. I know OU doesn’t have any real, legitimate big guys but I thought DW asserted himself really well tonight.

Great Quote
It was a tie between these two:

“This is getting real close to a must win for Oklahoma State” – Reid Gettys

[Tyler Neal’s shot is] poetry in motion – Dave Armstrong

The Rest of my Notes

  • The first play of the game accentuates why I want Markel at point, he goes right at the rim and gets fouled, and OSU takes control of the FT situation. That’s something Penn doesn’t/wouldn’t do. Reid Gettys actually made a good point in that making FT early isn’t as important as collecting the fouls, doubly so because OU is so thin.
  • I just don’t understand Keiton at the 1…I’ve given up on understanding it though. He’s a shooter and it’s not his fault that he’s not a point guard, he just isn’t. I don’t get what’s so difficult to grasp about this.
  • A good drinking game for those of you throwing back brews during Bedlam would have been “every time Dave Armstrong said ‘Bedlam'”
  • More for the Reid Gettys archive: “there are going to be 1,000 fouls called in this game”
  • Speaking of Gettys, I thought he was going to have an on-air orgasm when Markel tipped in the Keiton missed three.
  • Markel doesn’t know his role and I’m not sure it’s really his fault. I know I talk about him a lot on here but it’s only because he’s such an x-factor.
  • I got a text from Nolo in the first half that said, “Boone just took off his black Masters jacket and had on an orange Bobby Jones collection Masters pullover. I said, “seriously?” He said, “would I make a joke about something like that?” I love Boone.
  • Every time OSU launches a three (except Keiton) I think about Ford saying “we don’t even shoot threes well in practice.”
  • I can’t even look at Cade Davis without thinking he’s going to be in some b-list celebrity hair contest with Mario Lopez and Ryan Seacrest later on in the night.
  • Hey Dave Armstrong, you don’t “write a blog” you “write a post for or on a blog” – this is 2011, it shouldn’t be that hard.
  • I cracked up when Keiton headed the ball out of bounds to Carl Blair, that was awesome.
  • I tweeted, “when’s the last time Markel hit a three?” at some point in the second half. He actually hit a pair in Lubbock last weekend so I stand corrected. Of course he’s also 0-February, 7-January, and shooting 25% on the year so in retrospect I might have a legitimate point.
  • Pilgrim has officially entered the Tyson Zone on the court…and probably off it as well.
  • I don’t need Tyler Neal dunking and screaming in GIA, that’s pretty indicative of where this program is at right now. It was, however, nice to see JPO almost youtube all over him and his wannabe-Bradford hair on the very next position.
  • I think JPO is becoming our go-to crunch time guy for a few reasons. First, he gets to the hole easier than anyone else on the team, and second, he’s a really solid free throw shooter.
  • I feel like Markel was one of those guys in high school who just took it to the hole every time down and didn’t have to obtain a J. Actually I’m pretty sure he was like that.

What Does it Mean
It means OSU did what it had to do to stay alive in the tourney talk — get a pair (physically and literally) at home. It’s going to be huge for this not-very-deep team to have 7 days off before going up to play an undefeated-at-home Nebraska squad who is currently giving Bill Self all his toupee can handle and then some.

Next game: Saturday against Nebraska in Lincoln

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