Cowboys Roar Back To Top Missouri State

Oklahoma State's road game appeared to be over with 17 minutes remaining in the first half but then the Cowboys put together their best team performance of the season to rally from a 12-point deficit for a hard fought 72-67 victory against Missouri State.

There is no question that this is the Cowboys' best victory of the season and there are a few factors that make it so.

1) The Cowboys, with their backs against the wall down 12 with 17:55 left, showed a lot of heart by going on a 17-5 run to tie to wipe away an early onslaught by Missouri State.

2) Even with defensive enforcer Philip Jurick sidelined with foul trouble for the majority of the game, playing just eight minutes, OSU put together its most impressive defensive display of the young season against a very capable offensive team. OSU was called for a lot of questionable fouls but players stood their ground and did what needed to be done. The Cowboys held MSU scoreless for the final 4:08 of regulation.

3) The Cowboys were more aggressive with the ball on offense than they have been at any point this season and a lot of the reason was because of more intense efforts from Le'Bryan Nash and J.P. Olukemi, as well as solid point guard play from Fred Gulley. Gulley might have locked up the starting point guard duties in Springfield, as he had a career-high eight points in 29 minutes while the other two point guards, Reger Dowell and Cezar Guerrero played 12 and 8 minutes, respectively. Gulley was affective running the offense and OSU cut down on turnovers in a big way with just eight on the night with only one of those being Gulley's.

4) Speaking of Nash and Olukemi, this is the first game all season both have performed well on the same night and it really gave OSU's offense a pop that it has lacked. Nash led the Pokes with 19 points and was vital in the second-half comeback. He shot 6-of-13 from the floor, 6-of-8 from the foul line and made his only 3. Nash also had eight rebounds and limited himself to two turnovers after have seven against Langston.

Olukemi got off to a hot start for the Pokes then disappeared on offense until late in the second half but still finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and three big steals. His 9-for-12 showing at the free throw line was also big in the close win.

5) OSU got consecutive solid outings from Michael Cobbins. After scoring a career-high 10 points in Sunday's win against Langston, Cobbins had 10 again 23 minutes. His most impressive coming on a two-handed flush after flashing to the basket off a pick-and-roll.

Again, those are just a few reasons OSU was able to record its signature win through eight games. Keiton Page was big for the Pokes, as well, with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 2-for-5 from 3. Page appeared to be picking his moments against the Bears, shooting on quality shots and playing within the flow of the offense.

The Pokes overcame a large deficit and some questionable officiating to win their first road game since Feb. 17, 2010, when the Cowboys beat Iowa State.

This win was an important, high-quality one that could be key come March and it is a good confidence booster heading back to New York City for a Saturday tilt with No. 15 Pittsburgh. It will be the Cowboys second trip to Madison Square Garden already this season and the Pokes meet the Panthers at 1:30 p.m. in the second game of a doubleheader. The first game in the Carquest Auto Parts Classic is between Duke and Washington.

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