Bedlam Bummer

Le’Bryan Nash will have bitter memories of his final trip to Kansas City for the Big 12 tournament. The Oklahoma State senior scored 27 points – just two shy of his career high – but his teammates only contributed 22 in Thursday night’s 64-49 loss to Bedlam rival Oklahoma in a quarterfinal game of the conference tourney.

The Cowboys, 18-13 after their third loss to OU this season, must now wait until Sunday to find out if they are included in this year’s NCAA Tournament. That wasn’t a question a few weeks ago when they were 17-7 after three consecutive wins over ranked opponents.

But head coach Travis Ford’s team has only won once over the last 30 days – and the lone victory was to a TCU team that finished ninth out of 10 teams in the Big 12 – as the Cowboys have now lost six of their last seven games.

The 6-7 Nash did all he could to prolong the team’s stay in Kansas City. He was 10-of-20 shooting while going 7-of-9 from the free-throw line for 27 points (the most he's scored this season), and tied a career best with 12 rebounds. It was the seventh double-double of Nash’s career, and the third this season.

But Nash didn’t get much help. The other 10 Cowboys who played were a combined 9-of-35 shooting, including making only 3 of 20 three-point attempts, and they only scored 22 points.

"(Nash) was a one-man wrecking crew for us," Ford said. "We just didn't get him enough help. But he was really motivated to play, and played really really well. He played great, we just didn't have enough weapons around him tonight."

Phil Forte was averaging 15.5 points and Anthony Hickey 9.8, but that duo was a combined 2 for 16 from the field (making only 1 of 12 treys) and scored a total of six points (three each from Forte and Hickey).

"I told our guys to get their head up because we don't deserve to hold our head down," Ford said. "Our second game against them they just took it from us. This game, we had our opportunities. We missed wide open shots, we turned the ball over at crucial times with just some silly play, and we had some guys out there that just did not perform.

"I'm stick with some guys that aren't giving me anything. Whoever we're playing next ... there are some guys out there that just were not getting much out of right now."

The Cowboys started slow but used a 9-2 run over the last four minutes of the first half to take a 26-21 halftime lead. They extended their lead to 30-21 on Michael Cobbins’ basket and two free throws from Nash early in the second half but the Sooners then took control.

Behind the play of Buddy Hield, who was named Big 12 Player of the Year earlier in the week, the Sooners outscored the Cowboys 43-19 over the final 18:30 to claim their third Bedlam win this season and the first ever postseason win under fourth-year head coach Lon Kruger.

"This was more of us than it was about Oklahoma," Ford said. "The last game wasn't, they took it from us. This game we just had guys that didn't perform in the second half."


GoPokes Top Stories