Reger Dowell, Markel Brown Spark Cowboys

STILLWATER – Maybe it's a good sign that when Oklahoma State needed to make plays to pull away from Texas-San Antonio in the second half Monday night it was Reger Dowell, Markel Brown and Darrell Williams who came up big for the Cowboys. Dowell and Brown scored career highs and Williams tied his best scoring output as Oklahoma State pulled away from UTSA 79-63 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Dowell scored a career-best 12 points (two more than his previous high), Brown added 11 points (eclipsing the 10 he scored earlier this season against Missouri State), and Williams tied his all-time best scoring outing with 11 as the Cowboys improved to 12-2 with the victory. UTSA, coached by ex-OSU standout Brooks Thompson, saw its record drop to 6-6.

The Cowboys got 50 points from their bench and outscored the Roadrunners 46-8 in the paint.

Six players finished in double figures for head coach Travis Ford's team – Jean-Paul Olukemi (16), Marshall Moses (14), Dowell (12), Brown (11), Williams (11) and Matt Pilgrim (10).

"We spent a lot of time the last two days (following the 21-point loss to Gonzaga) talking about our offense," Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford said, "because I thought our offense led to some really bad defense the other night. We had an enormous amount of bad shots, bad execution ...

"I've spent a lot of time studying and doing things in practice the last couple days trying to get better execution to make our guys understand ball movement, make our guys understand the strengths of our team, and make our guys understand what we need to do to have our offense help our defense a little bit.

"I thought we did a better job of getting the ball to where we needed to tonight. That may not be the case against Kansas State or another team, but tonight we thought we needed to get the ball inside a little bit," Ford continued.

The Cowboys scored 28 baskets Monday night and 23 of those were from inside the paint.

OSU's post players – Pilgrim (5 of 8), Moses (6 of 7) and Williams (2 of 3) – were a combined 13 of 18 against the Roadrunners.

The Cowboys led by just 47-46 with 14 minutes to play when Olukemi, Williams and Dowell took control. Olukemi's fastbreak slam dunk got the ball rolling and before Thompson's team knew what had hit them the Cowboys had gone on a 24-4 run to take command.

The 6-1 Dowell had played just 24 minutes in the first 13 games of the season but was called upon when starting point guard Ray Penn picked up two fouls in the first minute and a half. The sophomore from Duncanville, Texas was 3-of-4 from the field and made all six of his free throws to finish with 12 points, two rebounds, two assists and just one turnover while playing a career-high 17 minutes.

"He had some positive minutes. He's a guy in the last month or so that I've gained a lot of confidence in. You never know when your number is going to be called and you're going to have to play heavy minutes like he had to do tonight," Ford said.

"His attitude has improved incredibly. He quit worrying about how many minutes he's playing and started worrying about playing hard every day (in practice) and let my play speak for itself, and have a good attitude in practice every day. I was telling the coaching staff I really like where Reger's at and hope I can find him some minutes."

It doesn't get any easier for the Cowboys as they open Big 12 play on Saturday against 17th-ranked Kansas State, 12-3 following Monday night's 92-61 victory over Savannah State. Tipoff is scheduled for noon Saturday at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

"Our whole team has got room for improvement. We're happy that we're 12-2 but I was just telling John (Holcomb) on the radio that out of our 14 games, we've got to play better than any game we've played in any of those games in order to compete in our league. I can't look back at any of the 14 games and say that game right there, if we play like that, we'll beat ‘em. None of them. We're going to have to play better than any game we've played. We have not put 40 minutes together yet," said Ford.


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