The Oklahoma State basketball team leads the TCU Horned Frogs 34-29 after the first half as both teams look for a win to advance in the Big 12 standings.
The Oklahoma State basketball team is now halfway through their crucial late season matchup against the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth, TX. OK State entered the game with a record of 16-9 (5-7 Big 12). Meanwhile, the Frogs entered with a record of 17-8 (6-6 Big 12).
The first time around, the Pokes defeated the Frogs 89-76 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater back on Jan. 23. Both teams are squarely in the NCAA Tournament right now, but both could also use a victory to improve their stock in the Big 12 and on Selection Sunday.
Both teams went back and forth in the first half, as seven point runs seemed to be the entirety of the scoring. Senior forward Leyton Hammonds came up huge in the first half, hitting three pointers with a new found confidence. He did score 11 points in OK State’s last victory against the Texas Longhorns.
This game seems to be fast paced for even head coach Brad Underwood’s style. Transition is keeping the game incredibly high-paced. And the referees are letting both teams play freely, for the most part. OK State carried a 34-29 lead into halftime.
Now, let’s take a look at the halftime reactions for the Oklahoma State Cowboys and TCU Horned Frogs.
Leyton Hammonds could add a whole new dynamic to the offense
Hammonds is actually on pace for his first double-double of the season. He is known to be a capable three-point shooter, but not a consistent threat from outside the arc. However, he has been lights out from three in the last two games. He finished with 16 points, six rebounds, and one steal after the first half.
One thing that kept Hammonds from being a consistent provider for the Pokes this season has been his foul trouble. He has fouled out seven times. Yet, he did not foul out against UT and he is not on pace to foul out tonight either. If Hammonds can continue to be a threat not only from outside the three-point line, but also in transition, then the Cowboy offense will be considerably more dangerous.
Slow down TCU’s outside shooting
TCU got quite a bit of their first half scoring from outside the three-point line. Early on, the Cowboys struggled to close out the Frogs’ three point shooters. They seemed to adjust better as the first half progressed but it’s something the Cowboys need to consistently watch for. Four of the 11 field goals the Frogs have made were from three point range.
Keep momentum on your side for longer lengths of time
Quite a bit of the first half seemed to ride on runs of more than five points for each team. Lead changes were plenty as both teams really need a win tonight. The Pokes finished the first half on the right side of the scoreboard, but with so many momentum shifts it’s hard to tell how long that might last.
Sophomore point guard Jawun Evans has six points and seven assists. Meanwhile, junior forward Jeffrey Carroll finished the half with nine points and three rebounds. Yet, senior shooting guard Phil Forte only took two shots and has three points total. The Frogs are looking Forte off pretty good to keep him away from shooting three pointers.
Look out for the Cowboys’ big three of Evans, Carroll, and Forte to take advantage of the floor spacing created by Hammonds and his 16 first half points to create even more offense to seal the victory in the end.