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OSU’s Historically Bad Shooting Night Overshadowing Solid Defensive Start

On how OSU wasn’t able to win a game it held a team to 55 points in.

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STILLWATER — Oklahoma State is 12-1 in the Mike Boynton era when holding opponents under 60 points.

The lone loss came Monday night in Gallagher-Iba Arena when the Cowboys fell to West Virginia 55-41. The 41 points scored were the fewest from an OSU team since putting up 37 against Kansas on March 7, 1999. Last century.

The Cowboys were 1-for-20 from 3-point range Monday against the Mountaineers’ top-five defense. Coincidentally, that’s the same 1-for-20 that Ole Miss shot against OSU in Brooklyn earlier this season when OSU held the Rebels to 37 points.

“I was hoping I would never have to feel the way Coach (Kermit) Davis felt after that game,” Boynton said. “But I know exactly what it feels like now.”

Boynton’s squad is just 10-for-47 (21 percent) from 3-point range in its opening two Big 12 games. It wasn’t supposed to go this way for a team with Thomas Dziagwa (who missed Monday’s game with the flu), Lindy Waters, Jonathan Laurent and Chris Harris.

Waters and Dziagwa are career 40-percent 3-point shooters. Dziagwa was 2-for-5 from deep Friday against Texas Tech, which isn’t bad, but a few of his misses were airballs.

Waters made the Cowboys’ lone 3-pointer Monday, but he did so on nine attempts. Waters broke into OSU’s 1,000-point club last night, so he’s a proven scorer, but two games into conference play, he is shooting just 25 percent from deep.

Laurent started his first game as a Cowboy on Monday in Dziagwa’s absence. After shooting 47 percent from 3 at UMass last season, he is just 6-for-21 from deep this year and 1-for-4 in the past two games.

“I really thought that shooting would be a strength for this team coming into the year with the personnel we had and just the history of the guys,” Boynton said. “It just hasn’t played out that way for whatever reason, and it’s our job to figure out a way to get a better rhythm. It’s concerning that we haven’t really shot it well consistently all year other than Lindy and Thomas. Not having Thomas didn’t help, but I thought we got good looks and just didn’t make them.”

A good sign for the Cowboys is their defense. Holding a team to 55 points and forcing 20 turnovers, as they did against West Virginia, will be enough to win on most nights.

As mentioned above, this is the first time OSU has held a team to under 60 and lost the game under Boynton. But another positive sign is that OSU has already held seven teams to under 60 points this season. That’s more than OSU did in all of the first two years under Boynton combined.

So, the Cowboys’ defense is improved, but sooner or later someone is going to have to hit shots for OSU to be successful .

“Confidence comes from work,” Boynton said. “What we have to figure out is, are we working hard enough to feel confident that we’re gonna make (shots) in a game? That was my message to our team. I thought we got good looks, but I don’t know if the guys were shooting it with the level of confidence that they know they’ve been really working at it.

“It’s one of the reasons I feel good about what we can become because I have no doubt that every day I bring everything that I have. Eventually, I believe work wins. We just gotta work a little bit harder, gotta dig down a little bit deeper, spent a little more time at it and the results will start to change.”

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