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Phil Forte’s Slump Seems Over and It’s Showing Up In the Record Books

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The Cowboys dropped their fourth straight in a loss to Iowa State on Wednesday night and are now 0-4 in Big 12 play. Once again, Brad Underwood’s team had a chance to win late and once again they came up short.

While the late-game defensive woes have been huge, the Cowboys’ offense has also predictably slowed a step since starting conference play. In their four Big 12 games, the Cowboys are averaging 74.3 points per game. They haven’t reached triple digits since December 14 when they did so against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

But if there is a silver lining for the Cowboys, it’s that Phil Forte seems to have finally shed the shooting slump that kept us scratching our heads during a late non-conference stretch. Since the start of Big 12 play, Forte has averaged 17 points per game on 52.2 percent from the field and is shooting 55.6 percent from beyond the arc.

He was on fire Wednesday night, shooting 9-of-11 including making four of his six 3-pointers. That is the Forte they need him to be. When Forte is on, it helps to keep the defense honest and creates more space on the floor. The type of space that could help a currently struggling Jawun Evans.

Forte’s 24 points against Iowa State give him a career total of 1,532, which pushes the fifth-year senior past Ronnie McDaniel (1,519 points from 1973-77) and Ivan McFarlin (1,526 points from 2001-05) for 12th on the program’s career scoring list.

  1. Byron Houston (1988-92) – 2,379
  2. Bryant Reeves (1991-95) – 2,367
  3. Adrian Peterson (1995-99) – 1,866
  4. Le’Bryan Nash (2011-15) – 1,839
  5. James Anderson (2007-10) – 1,811
  6. Desmond Mason (1996-2000) – 1,702
  7. Bob Kurland (1942-46) – 1,669
  8. Markel Brown (2010-14) – 1,655
  9. Keiton Page (2008-12) – 1,651
  10. Matt Clark (1978-83) – 1,542
  11. Randy Rutherford (1992-95) – 1,541
  12. Phil Forte (2012-17) – 1,532
  13. Ivan McFarlin (2001-05)

This will be a talking point throughout the season as he keeps moving up the list. He’s only 279 points from James Anderson and cracking the top 5. With 15 regular season games remaining plus the Big 12 tournament and possible NCAA berth, that top-5 spot may not be out of the question.

Also, Forte’s 286 made 3-pointers is now just 13 behind career leader and current OSU staffer Keiton Page.

While records are fun and important, let’s hope his continued hot streak will help the his new head coach finally reach his own benchmark — that elusive 100th win.

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