By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Oklahoma State got exactly what it needed to buck its first losing streak of the season — a short-handed, overmatched Texas Christian University squad.
Though the game was never in doubt with the Cowboys rolling to a 63-45 blowout, the Pokes played down to their opponents — finishing with more turnovers and never putting together a game-ending run.
“I’m happy with the win, we’ll take it. But I’m not really excited about our performance,” OSU coach Travis Ford said. “I didn’t think we played with the intensity level that you need to play with (in conference).”
Ending a stretch of three straight games scoring just single digits, the Cowboys finally got Le’Bryan Nash back on track with 13 points — 9 of which came in the first half to give OSU a 36-22 lead at the break.
“There is no doubt in my mind that I can score a lot. My team needs me to score, so that’s what I focused on — getting back in a groove and scoring the ball,” said Nash, who played just 29 minutes in the lopsided affair. “I blame myself for the three losses because I wasn’t in a groove and I just want to help this team out as much as I can.”
Also scoring in double digits for the Pokes was freshman point guard Marcus Smart with a 14 points — going 5 for 5 from the field — and junior guard Markel Brown, also with 14 to go with a game-high 5 assists.
Though OSU wasn’t quite on pace with its season average in scoring (71.4), the Cowboys were taking better looks, going 25 for 48 from the field (52.1 percent) — well above their season average of 44.2 percent. The problem for the Oklahoma State offense, however, was 24 turnovers — the most committed by the Cowboys this season.
“The first half we shot the ball well (61.9 percent), but didn’t reward ourselves because we turned it over too much,” Ford said. “I thought we should have expanded our lead a little bit more had we taken care of the basketball.”
With TCU being grossly outmatched, the Cowboys were able to get back in a flow with rebounding. Oklahoma State dominated the glass with 40 rebounds — a keeping TCU to just 17, including only 2 on the offensive glass.
Getting back in the win column came at a perfect time for the Pokes, who travel to Norman Saturday for a 2 p.m. contest against Bedlam rival Oklahoma. The Sooners (10-3) are riding a three-game winning streak, with the latest victory being a 67-57 comeback road win over West Virginia to open conference play.
“Oklahoma’s a good team. It’s Bedlam, so we’re going to be focused going into this game,” Nash said. “It’s going to be a rowdy crowd and we’ve just got to be prepared.”