Cowboys Fall to 11-2 with Loss To Gonzaga

Oklahoma State will be looking forward to getting back on the basketball court Monday night for its final non-conference game against Texas-San Antonio, especially following the Cowboys performance on New Year's Eve. The Cowboys struggled in every phase of the game Friday night in suffering a 73-52 loss to Gonzaga in Spokane, Wash., losing for just the second time this season.

The loss is the worst by the Cowboys since a 21-point loss to Tulsa on Dec. 2, 2009.

The Cowboys shot just 36 percent from the field – the second worst shooting night of the season – and were outrebounded 44-32 by the Bulldogs – only the third time they had been outrebounded all season, and the first time by double digits – as they saw their record drop to 11-2.

It was a bad night all around for head coach Travis Ford's team. How bad? Keiton Page was averaging 22 points in his last three games but finished with just two points and took only four shots in the game. Ironically, Page only scored two points in Oklahoma State's only other loss this season, a 56-51 defeat to Virginia Tech on Nov. 26.

Gonzaga's Elias Harris was averaging 11.2 points entering Friday night's game but scored a season-high 22 on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. The Cowboys also had trouble with 7-foot, 260-pound Robert Sacre, who was averaging 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds but dominated inside with 16 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Mangisto Arop also added seven points and 10 rebounds for the Zags.

Gonzaga shot 26 free throws (making 18), while Oklahoma State was a disastrous 5 for 14 from the charity stripe.

"We looked like a team that hadn't played in 10 days (since a 79-68 victory over Stanford on Dec. 21). I thought it caught up with us about (the middle of the first half). I thought we had some guys look very, very tired tonight," Ford said.

"Gonzaga was just the much tougher basketball team tonight in every aspect, from rebounding to posting up to defensively getting up in us. It's disappointing, it's not in losing but in how we lost the game that was very disappointing. We had some guys not do anything tonight ... and we can't win that way, we can't be successful that way.

"We played very, very, very poorly ... we just got totally outplayed in every aspect after the first nine minutes. It's disappointing how some of our guys responded but hopefully we can use this as a learning lesson," Ford continued.

The Cowboys actually led 17-11 midway through the first half but could have been up by more than six as the Zags were struggling shooting the ball (3 of just 14 from the field). But Gonzaga went on a 29-9 run in the last 10 minutes of the first half, including David Stockton's halfcourt three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Zags a 40-26 halftime lead.

Gonzaga improved to 8-5 with the victory.

Marshall Moses led the Cowboys with 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Jean-Paul Olukemi finished with 11 points. Ray Penn added 7 points and 4 assists, while Markel Brown contributed 7 points and a career-best 6 rebounds.

Oklahoma State plays Texas-San Antonio, coached by former Cowboy Brooks Thompson, on Monday night before opening Big 12 Conference play against Kansas State next Saturday (Jan. 8) at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

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