The Oklahoma State basketball team won their third straight contest as they defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 99-71 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
The Oklahoma State basketball team made a statement to the college basketball world yesterday when they beat the Arkansas Razorbacks, as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, 99-71 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater. It was the third consecutive victory for the Cowboys as they head into one of their biggest matchups of the conference slate against the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman. OK State enters that matchup now with a record of 13-8 (2-6 Big 12). Meanwhile, the Sooners enter the game with a record of 8-12 (2-6 Big 12).
It was a big night last night for the entire Cowboy team. A few key accomplishments included head coach Brad Underwood’s first victory over an SEC opponent at the helm for OK State, senior shooting guard Phil Forte breaking the OK State career three-point record, and five Cowboys scoring in double figures.
OK State is catching their stride at the perfect time to make a run at a NCAA Tournament bid, and maybe assuming the role of a dark horse for the Big 12 Tournament.
The Cowboys fell one-point short of scoring 100 points in a game for the sixth time this season. With a 28 point lead in the final minute of the game, they did not have much reason to run up the score anymore.
The trio of Forte along with sophomore point guard Jawun Evans and junior forward Jeffrey Carroll are leading a potent Cowboy offense right now. All three players average at least 14.0 points per game while getting at least 26.9 minutes per game. Maybe the best news for the Pokes is the fact that Evans is finding his stride once again after having a rough start to conference play. He dealt with limited minutes in a few games because of early foul trouble.
New found depth in the rotation is also helping the Cowboys’ cause. Sophomore guard Davon Dillard is thriving with more time on the floor. He scored in double figures for the second straight game against the Razorbacks. Yesterday, he posted 10 points, three rebounds, and one assist.
Senior forward Mitchell Solomon adds some fight to the front court. Depth in the front court was considered a weakness for the Cowboys at the beginning of the season. However, Solomon rebounded the ball at least four times in each of the last five games. And freshman center Lucas N’Guessan is still giving OK State quality minutes off the bench.
Things seem to be falling into place at the right time for the Pokes. Underwood’s new defensive scheme, putting less full-court pressure on opponent’s guards, is paying dividends helping lead to three-straight victories. Furthermore, the Cowboy freshman class looks stronger and stronger as the season goes along, led by Lindy Waters III and Brandon Averette. The 2016-17 college basketball season could get even better with a Bedlam victory over the Sooners tomorrow in Norman to give the Pokes a four-game winning streak overall and a three-game Big 12 winning streak.