Cowboys Continue Road Woes in Norman

NORMAN, Okla. - It was the same storyline, just a different week on the Big 12 road schedule for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Fall behind early, come back late and fall apart at the end. It's a vicious cycle coach Travis Ford has been unable to avoid the past three seasons. OSU fell 77-68 to Oklahoma Saturday at Lloyd Noble Arena, and it brings Ford's road record in Big 12 games to 1-18 since 2010.

"I have no idea," OSU's Markel Brown said. "Some kind of spell on us or something that we've got to get over. We've got to find a way to get road wins in the Big 12. These types of games, they can help you and they can hurt you for the (NCAA) tournament."

The Cowboys (11-4, 1-2) lacked any consistency throughout the game. The Sooners (11-3, 2-0) got off to a 7-0 run to start the first half, and never looked back. OSU freshman guard Phil Forte kept things interesting, hitting 3-of-5 3-pointers and totaling a team-high 10 points. The Cowboys were down just nine at halftime – but it could have been a lot worse.

Freshman point guard Marcus Smart had three fouls at halftime and the Cowboys had no answer for Sooners forward Romero Osby (17 points, 3 rebounds and two assists). OSU committed nine first-half turnovers.

"We've got to get back to having that edge defensively and that be our identity," Ford said. "On offense, we're just turning the ball over too much … We had our opportunities to get to that point (back in the game), but give them credit."

A late push in the second half gave OSU hope, but it didn't last long. OSU forward Le'Bryan Nash hit two free throws with 9:34 to bring the Cowboys within two points, 52-50. But OU responded with key baskets from freshman guard Buddy Hield, who went 3-for-5 from deep on track to his 15 points.

Forte, the Cowboys' first half scoring leader, went 0-for-6 from the field, and 0-for-5 from 3 in the second half. Smart never found rhythm or much playing time because of foul trouble, and the Cowboys lost consecutive Big 12 road games to begin the year – just like last season.

"It's about the mental approach, coming up to the game on the road," sophomore guard Michael Cobbins said. "You've got to stick together with everyone on the same page … We didn't play hard enough. They outplayed us, made plays, got 50-50 balls and they were in a highest gear than we were."


UP NEXT: Texas Tech
The Cowboys host the Red Raiders (8-6, 1-2) at 1 pm Saturday at Gallagher-Iba Arena. / TV: ESPN 2 / RADIO: KSPI 93.7 FM

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