Cowboys To Face Cornhuskers in Big 12 Tourney

There's good news for the Oklahoma State basketball team. The Cowboys won't have to play any more conference road games this season. Oklahoma State suffered a 64-61 loss to Bedlam rival Oklahoma in the Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday afternoon in the final regular season game. The Cowboys finish 0-8 in Big 12 Conference road games, and have now lost seven in a row to the Sooners in Norman.

Oklahoma State falls to 18-12 overall and 6-10 in the Big 12, while the Sooners broke an eight-game losing streak to finish 13-17 and 5-11.

The Cowboys will be the No. 9 seed and face the No. 8 seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in a first-round game of the Big 12 Championship tournament at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. OSU lost to Nebraska 65-54 in Lincoln on Feb. 12.

The loss to the Sooners means that Travis Ford's squad must now win four games in four consecutive days, including beating No. 1 seed Kansas in a quarterfinal matchup Thursday if the Cowboys win their first-round game on Wednesday, to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season.

"It just wasn't a good performance by us," Ford said. "I've been a head coach for a lot of years and I've never experienced anything as far as trying to figure a team out.

"Why we have struggled on the road? Why certain individuals have struggled on the road? It's been extremely challenging from our standpoint to try to coach the mental aspect of it. I thought we were ready to go today. We had some pretty decent practices, but we didn't play well on both ends (of the court). We didn't play very well at all."

The Cowboys scored just four points in the first eight minutes of the game and fell behind 13-2 before rallying to take a 33-32 halftime lead on a three-pointer from Nick Sidorakis right before halftime.

Ford's team shot just 32 percent in the second half - and 40.4 percent for the game (21 of 52) - but still had a chance to send the game into overtime in the game's final seconds. OU's Cade Davis missed a free throw with 16.2 seconds left to give the Cowboys a chance but Reger Dowell's three-point bounced off the rim.

"When they were playing the man-to-man we did a great job of getting to the basket but when they went to zone they did a better job of taking away our drives and inside play, and everyone knows how we shoot threes," said Ford. "Our offense just struggled.

"We made a lot of bad passes. We made a lot of bad plays tonight. We had too many walks during crucial times, too many charges during crucial times. I told the team I'm disappointed in not learning from our mistakes in the past, (like) fouling so far away from the basket during crucial times. That's what's disappointing."

Oklahoma State won just one true road game this season - defeating LaSalle 92-87 in double overtime on Dec. 4. The Cowboys finish the season 1-9 on the road, and have compiled an 8-22 record in games in their opponents home arena (26.7 percent) in Ford's three years as head coach.

The Cowboys are 5-19 the past three years in Big 12 road games (20.8 percent).

Senior Marshall Moses led the Cowboys with 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Markel Brown (12 points), Jean-Paul Olukemi (10 points and 8 rebounds) and Reger Dowell (10) also scored in double figures.


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