Oklahoma State basketball: Don’t sleep on Boynton, Cowboys this spring

Oklahoma State basketball scored a crucial win over No. 14 Texas at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Saturday, defeating the Longhorns 64-51. It was the Cowboys’ first win in Big 12 Conference play this season.

OSU also honored a number of players who played under legendary coach Henry Iba, who directed the basketball program in Stillwater from 1934 to 1970.

It was tempting to write off the Cowboys at the start of the 2022 calendar year: They were struggling to connect from outside, they had lost their fifth game of the season just a week into January, and of course, they had (and still have) no chance of making the postseason in March due to NCAA sanctions.

Oklahoma State basketball used its stifling defense to get a signature win in 2022 with a 64-51 victory against No. 14 Texas.

Against Texas, however, the Cowboys reversed that script.

The No. 14-ranked Longhorns entered Stillwater with swagger. They had the country’s leading scoring defense (allowing only 52.3 points per game) under first-year coach Chris Beard, who took over after a successful run at Texas Tech. Beard has a number of high-impact transfers on the Longhorns, led by Timmy Allen from Utah and Tre Mitchel from UMass, who will likely lead Texas to an NCAA Tournament bid.

OSU, on other hand, had struggled mightily on offense in recent losses to Kansas and Houston and had 17 days in between those two contests due to COVID issues with other programs during Christmas break.

Against Mike Boynton’s Cowboys squad, however, those trends were reversed. Texas scored only 51 points on 39.3 percent shooting from the floor, both season lows. The Cowboys were active on defense with hands on the ball and arms in passing lanes, diving for loose balls and getting stops on defense.

Forward Keylan Boone led the way with 17 points, a season-high mark for him that was enabled by 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.

It was only the Longhorns’ third loss of the season, after Texas dropped an early-season game against No. 1 Gonzaga and another to Top 25 team Seton Hall. Texas is now 2-9 in its last 11 trips to Stillwater, an impressive stat considering the strength of the Longhorns program.

The Cowboys will have their work cut out for them this upcoming week, with three consecutive road contests taking place during a five-day stretch against West Virginia, No. 19 Texas Tech, and No. 1 Baylor. With its gutsy win against a quality team in Texas on Saturday, the Cowboys showed that they have the talent to compete in a loaded Big 12.

Despite zero prospect of playing in March Madness, this team hasn’t given up.