Bedlam Drought: OSU Loses in Norman, Again

Travis Ford-led teams have won in KU’s Allen Fieldhouse, Hilton Coliseum on the campus of Iowa State and the Erwin Center at Texas. In seven years under Ford's direction the Oklahoma State Cowboys have won in every Big 12 road arena but Oklahoma’s Lloyd Noble Center. Ford’s record at OU dropped to 0-7 on Saturday when the 18th-ranked Sooners defeated the 24th-ranked Cowboys 82-65.

OSU saw its record fall to 12-5 overall and 2-3 in the Big 12. OU improves to 12-5 and 3-2 with the 11th consecutive win over the Cowboys in Lloyd Noble Center.

The last OSU win over OU in Norman was with Eddie Sutton as head coach when Ivan McFarlin, John Lucas and Joey Graham combined to score 52 points in a 65-52 victory on Feb. 26, 2004.

The Sooners led by as many as 23 in the first half, took a 41-20 lead into the locker room at halftime were never challenged by the Cowboys in the second half. OU guard Buddy Hield, who entered the game averaging 17.1 points, nearly outscored the Cowboys by himself in the first half, scoring 18 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field.

The Sooners junior would finish with a game-high 27 points, making all 10 of his shots, including going 4-for-4 on three-pointers. He would have been perfect against the Cowboys if not missing two free throws.

"I didn't like anything about this game," Ford said. "There's nothing that I liked about it whatsoever. We're going to get back in the gym and get it fixed.

"The first seven or eight minutes set the tone for the whole game. We came out trying to be pretty, trying to play comfortable. This is not a game you play comfortable.

"They were the more aggressive team. They lost their last two games, and we didn't respond to it. We knew that was going to happen. We thought we had prepared them, (but) we've got to do a better job. We never responded the first five to 10 minutes. They were knocking balls out of our hands, we weren't catching balls, we lost Hield in transition, (and) those are things you can't do.

"We didn't have enough grit about us, and the first five to 10 minutes set the tone."

The Cowboys only trailed 13-8 after baskets by Mitchell Solomon and Le’Bryan Nash but that’s as close as they would get the rest of the way.

OU used a 10-4 run over the next 6 1/2 minutes to go up 23-12. Then after Anthony Hickey’s floater ended a more than six-minute scoring drought the Sooners went on a 15-2 run – including scoring 12 in a row (Hield scored eight consecutive on his own) – to take a commanding 38-16 lead before Ford called his third timeout of the first half.

The Cowboys made just seven shots in the first half, and shot 23.3 percent from the field (7 of 30), missing all 13 of their three-point attempts (Phil Forte was 0-for-4, Jeff Newberry was 0-for-3, and Hickey 0-for-2).

Sophomore Leyton Hammonds finally drilled home a trey from the top of the key with about 11 minutes remaining in the game to end a drought in which the Cowboys missed 25 consecutive three-point attempts (their final 10 in Tuesday night's loss at Kansas, 13 in the first half against OU, and then the first two treys attempted in the second half Saturday).

Hammonds finished 5-of-7 on treys and scored 15 points to tie Nash in leading the Cowboys. Hickey contributed 14 points and Forte finished with 11 points while shooting 3-of-11 from the field (including missing all five of his three-point attempts). It was the first time in 17 games this season that Forte did not make a trey.

"We didn't enough guys making plays. We need more guys making plays," Ford said. "When they cut off Phil Forte we need some other guys to make some shots, manufacture some shots. Our offense is designed for that but everybody kinda of ran away from making the play. We need some guys to step up and make plays. That was disappointing."

The good news for the Cowboys is they return to the court Wednesday night against Texas Tech, which is 10-8 overall and 0-5 in Big 12 play following Saturday’s 62-42 loss to TCU. The game tips at 8 p.m. inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.

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