Seven days ago, the Cowboys were enjoying a five-game winning streak. It feels more like seven weeks.
Oklahoma State fell to West Virginia 85-67, again falling behind by 20 in the first half and again being unable to overcome it.
It’s been a frustrating week for the Cowboys, and those frustrations spilled over onto the hardwood in Morgantown.
For the second-straight game, OSU went completely off the radar offensively for a huge stretch of the first half. And for the second straight game, the Cowboys found themselves in too deep of a hole.
It’s hard to come out on top when you make just one bucket in 11 minutes. From the 14:29 mark in the first to 3:37, OSU went on a 1-for-12 shooting stretch. When it started, the score was tied at 10. Before the Cowboys scored again, WVU had rattled off an 18-1 run and had built a 32-14 lead.
The Cowboys were down 20 in the first half and, other than a brief 6-0 run to pull within 13 midway through the second, they showed little life against the Mountaineers.
The Pokes have been their best offensively when they play through Kalib Boone on the block. But for the second straight game, that was impossible.
Boone picked up his second foul just as the second minute had gone off the clock. He was limited to zero points in just four minutes in the first half a scored just four points in six minutes before being disqualified.
Midway through the second half, Boone hit the deck to fight for a loose ball with WVU’s Tre Mitchell. After some extracurricular activity broke out between the two, a scrum ensued. The personal and technical fouls Boone earned accounted for fouls Nos. 4 and 5, disqualifying him. Woody Newton was also ejected for leaving the bench. Those losses made an already unlikely comeback that much tougher.
To make matters worse, Bryce Thompson hobbled off the court, holding his right hamstring, after being fouled with 1:30 remaining. He was unable to shoot his own free throw and did not return. Thompson scored 14 on 5-of-13 shooting. Caleb Asberry led the Cowboys with 15 points on 3-of-8 shooting (8-of-9 from the free-throw line).
While it was ugly offensively for the Cowboys, they’ve also taken a step back on defense. During that five-game win streak, OSU held teams to just 39% shooting. In the last three games including this loss, opponents have shot 55% against the Pokes. This current skid represents three of the top four scoring outputs by opponents this season.
OSU was dominated in 3-point shooting, doubled up in turnovers and second-chance points, and absolutely run off the floor in points scored off of those mistakes. WVU took 14 more shots than OSU.
OSU took its first four shots from beyond the arc, making just one of them before missing 15 straight (!!!) deep shots. The Cowboys went 2-for-19 from 3.
The Cowboys lost the turnover battle 18-9 and gave up an astounding 28 points off their giveaways while only scoring four off WVU’s. The Mountaineers also had the edge on the glass, besting the Cowboys 17-13 in offensive boards and 21-11 in second-chance points.
With the loss, Oklahoma State moves to 16-12 and 7-8 in Big 12 play. Up next, the Cowboys have a few days to try to get more healthy and shake this one off before they return to Stillwater to host No. 14 Kansas State on Saturday at 1 p.m. for their penultimate home game of the season.