The Cowboys out-rebounded the smaller NCAA Division II Rangers 60-25. The 60 rebounds by the Cowboys just the fourth time in school history that they have reached that mark and the first time 1973. The school record is 65 (vs Colorado at Kansas City on Dec. 29, 1972).
“The energy level, enthusiasm level and togetherness was much much better today (than in Sunday’s 74-52 victory over Prairie View A&M),” Ford said. “How we approached the game, came out with great intensity … played well together, especially the first group. A lot of good things.”
One of the best was Carroll, the 6-6 redshirt freshman who made the first start of his college playing career. He was 7-of-14 shooting to finish with 15 points in just 17 minutes of play.
“I was pretty pleased,” Ford said. “If you had told me before the game that he was going to get a double-double and only make one 3 I would have said you were crazy. He found other ways to score. He rebounded the ball. He’s an athletic player and he uses his athleticism. Again, he’s got to handle the ball a little bit better and continue to work on his one-on-one defense … but it’s good for him to score 15 points with only one 3. That’s good to see.”
The Cowboys actually fell behind 3-0 in the early going before going on a 20-0 run to take a commanding 20-3 lead. The Rangers, who lost by 36 points to Central Oklahoma on Saturday, went from the 18:52 mark until 13:34 in the first half without scoring.
The 20-0 run ties for the longest run since the 2000-01 season, matching the 20 consecutive points the Cowboys scored against Siena on Nov. 20, 2001.
One major disappointment Tuesday night was 7-footer Anthony Allen, who was coming off a 6-point, 14-rebound performance on Sunday. He was whistled for a flagrant two foul early in the second half and ejected from the game for fighting. Thus, NCAA rules state he must sit out OSU’s game Friday night against Milwaukee at GIA.
“It was just foolish, just very foolish (of him). I’m disappointed in him,” Ford said. “We’ll deal with him. I don’t want him acting foolish to take away from everybody else playing hard.”
However, the Cowboys will regain the services against Milwaukee of 6-8, 230-pound senior post Michael Cobbins, who was sitting out the first four games (one exhibition game and the first three regular season contests) for playing in two games as a freshman before redshirting.
“He’s itching to get out there,” Ford said. “Obviously he can really help our basketball team with experience. But it’s his first game back (from last season’s Achilles injury), and we have to be patient with him. I know he’s excited about playing, and we’re excited about getting him back.”
Ford believes Milwaukee will be the Cowboys first true test before they travel to Las Vegas next week to compete in the MGM Grant Main Event. Milwaukee is 1-1 entering Wednesday night’s game against IUPUI.
“These games we’ve been playing have been good for our basketball team, but our level of competition is going to rise drastically Friday night. This Milwaukee is a really good veteran, experienced team. They’ve got size, they’ve got good guards,” Ford said.
“This is going to be a very difficult challenge for our basketball team. I hope we get a great crowd. I hope we get some great fan support. Our kids need it and deserve it.”
Tip off against Milwaukee is set for 7 p.m.