Cowboys Get Defensive In 76-56 Victory

STILLWATER - After two games of inconsistent play, Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford said his basketball team needed more defensive intensity. On Sunday afternoon, the Cowboys listened and followed through with a 76-56 win against the Colonels of Nicholls Sate at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

"I think our defensive intensity was good tonight," junior guard Keiton Page said. "That led to better offense as well."

Junior forward Darrell Williams notched a double-double for the Cowboys with 11 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. Page added 18 points to lead the team in scoring.

"It was going to be interesting to see how our team came out and responded in this game," Ford said. "They responded tremendously. I thought the effort and the focus was there."

The Cowboys came out strong defensively in the first half, holding the Colonels scoreless for nearly six minutes. Colonel senior guard/forward Anatoly Bose, who entered the game averaging 25 points per game, only connected on 2-of-10 field goals and one from behind the arc in the first half.

Because of constant pressure from OSU's guards, Bose could not find offensive rhythm and committed two turnovers after 20 minutes of play.

"We stuck to our defensive principles most of the time, we had a couple of slips," Page said. "(Bose) is a heck of a player. I feel like he earned a lot of his shots tonight."

Sophomore guard Fred Gulley spent a majority of the game defending Bose. Despite a four-inch difference in height, Gulley was able to force the taller Colonel forward to take contested shots all game long.

"Fred's a tough customer," Ford said. "He's going to get through screens, he's going to get low, he's going to do exactly what we tell him to do, and he loves the challenge."

Page led all scorers heading into the half with 13 points. The Cowboys found themselves up by as much as 18 with two minutes remaining in the half when senior center Marshall Moses rebounded a missed Page three-point shot for an uncontested putback.

"I came out and got in a rhythm early," Page said. "My teammates were doing a good job of executing plays and getting me open shots."

In the second half, the Cowboys picked up steam offensively with major contributions from Moses and Willaims. Moses finished the night with 16 points and six rebounds, but it was behind Williams' 12 defensive rebounds that gave the Cowboys the major inside advantage.

"Coach kept letting us know they lead teams in offensive rebounds," Williams said. "My thing was just to out-rebound everybody."

Bose still had a strong showing in the second half, scoring a game-high 37 points. However, the Colonel forward took 24 shots in order to secure that point total. He found most of his scoring success from the free-throw line, going 14-for-15.

Ford said that while Bose was very effective scoring, the number of shots he took to get to that point was a good sign for his defense.

"When he's going to shoot 20 more times than anyone else on the team, that's going to happen," Ford said.

The Cowboys will hit the road for the first time Thursday when they head to Anaheim, Calif., to face Depaul University as part of the 76 Classic.

Ford said that he is looking to his captains to lead his young team away from home.

"I'm anxious to see how our team responds away from Gallagher-Iba," Ford said. "It's going to be a good test for our team mentally."

Cowboy Player Efficiency Ratings
vs. NIcholls State
Player Efficiency Rating (PER) = Points + Rebounds + Assists + Steals + Blocks - missed field goals - missed free throws - turnovers.

Darrell Williams: 22
Marshall Moses: 21
Keiton Page: 15
Markel Brown: 10
Matt Pilgrim: 10
Ray Penn: 8
Fred Gulley: 8
Jarred Shaw: 4
Jean-Paul Olukemi: 1
Reger Dowell: 1
Mike Cobbins: 0
Nick Sidorakis: -1
Brian Williams: DNP
Roger Franklin: DNP
Zathan Simpson: DNP
Songo Adoki: DNP

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