OSU Loses Close One To Virginia Tech

That really wasn't a bad loss for Oklahoma State. It was certainly disheartening, but there are a lot of positives to take away from it. I'll touch on a few items from today's 67-61 loss to Virginia Tech even though I'm out here in the desert.

1) What a great crowd. I know it was free but it was great to see in excess of 12,500 in Gallagher-Iba Arena with the students gone for break and thousands of Pokes out here in Arizona. This hasn't been a really fun team to watch for the fans the past month so it was impressive on several levels. It showed evidence that Cowboy fans still love to support their basketball team and maybe it's the steep ticket prices that have hampered attendance the past few seasons (last year's free game against Missouri was also nearly full).

2) Brian Williams and Michael Cobbins have played significantly more minutes after the defections of Reger Dowell and Fred Gulley from the team. Their increased presence in the rotation has led to positive results. Williams scored a career-best 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and also added four rebounds and a steal in 33 minutes. He has really come on strong when the Cowboys needed someone to do exactly that. Cobbins' two point and three rebounds don't accurately convey how well he played. It was one of those Nick Collison for the Thunder situations where he made a bigger impact with his intangibles, effort, screening and defensive rotations than in the stat book.

3) OSU went through one of "those" spells again. After jumping out to a seven-point lead, J.P. Olukemi went down with his second knee injury of the day and the Cowboy offense left with him. Virginia Tech went on a 19-3 run to a 10-point lead that forced the Pokes to try to come from behind again. And, again, the effort fell just short. Also, The Tulsa World said there is no confirmation yet about the severity of Olukemi's injury. There is also no reported news of Markel Brown's injury that limited him to just eight minutes.

4) If you're looking for a reason OSU lost this game other than injuries to Brown and Olukemi, the rebounding margin is as good a place as any to start. The Pokes were outrebounded by the the Hokies by a whopping 47-24 margin. In direct relation to that, the Hokies outscored OSU 24-4 in second-chance points.

5) A loss is a loss but this Cowboy team showed a lot of positive improvements and adjustments that people had hoped to see after the loss to Pitt in New York. OSU ran the floor, moved well on offense and were aggressive on both sides of the floor. Maybe the energy provided by a great GIA crowd had something to do with it but if the Pokes can bottle up that type of effort and use it on a nightly basis then this team could still do some good things as they continue to grow together.

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