Cowboys Win In Best Early Season Performance

Oklahoma State improves to 3-0 with its best performance with a 117-72 victory over New Orleans.

STILLWATER – The guess is that new Oklahoma State head coach Brad Underwood got a product Wednesday night that is much closer to what he is expecting. The Cowboys throttled New Orleans 117-72 to go 3-0 on the season. OSU shot 54 percent from the field and 79 percent from the line. They out-rebounded UNO 47-29. They won the turnover battle 23-10. 

There was no hesitation from the start as the Cowboys piled up a seven-point lead at the first media time out, pushed it to 18 points by the second media time out, and then forced New Orleans to use a time-out less than a minute later as a circus lay-in by Tavarius Shine coupled with a foul made for an old-fashioned three-point possession and then freshman Lindy Waters III three off a miss made the score 36-12.

The Cowboys quick start was fueled by equal parts offense, defense, and taking advantage of opportunity. Those are all three on the check mark list for Underwood.

Leyton Hammonds opened up on fire as he scored first from the wing, added a baseline jumper to make it 8-2 Cowboys, nailed a three from the left wing, hit a jumper inside the three-point line, knocked down two free throws, and then added a wing jumper before the second media time out for the 30-12 early lead. Hammonds had 13 points.

Hammonds finished leading the balanced Cowboys with 15, Jeffrey Carroll had 14, guards Juwan Evans and Phil Forte had 13 each and Waters had 11 points. 

The continued pressure on defense and yes, there was more talking and sound that Underwood has been asking for, led to a 47-16 advantage by the eight minute media time-out. Oklahoma State was shooting 62 percent to the Privateers 33 percent. The rebound advantage was 18-7, and the turnovers were in favor of the opportunistic Cowboys 7-to-1. The hustle was as impressive as it was in the exhibition game against Pitt State.

Carroll was another star in the first half as his hustle was outstanding. Off a missed three-point shot from Waters, Carroll went way up for the rebound and then in one move followed and hit the shot and drew a foul. That wound up being the OG&E Power Play of the Game. He finished off the three-point play for a 60-27 O-State lead and then after blocking a shot on the other end came back down under the basket and got the pass down low for an easy basket. 

One of the most exciting plays in the first half romp came on a pass at the elbow to freshman seven-footer Lucas N'Guessan from The Netherlands. N'Guessan went straight to the basket with it and slammed it in, but was also called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim. That drew the ire of the student section toward the officials, but it was hard to mean it with a 68-36 halftime advantage for the home team.

The second half saw more of the same, just with a lot less intensity as there was a Davon Dillard sighting and he had 7 points including a breakaway slam dunk. The bench was cleared but some very important minutes for N'Guessan and backup freshman point guard Brandon Averette. N'Guessan finished with 11 points and Averette had eight. 

The Wednesday night win polishes off the start of the season three-game home stand and sends the Cowboys bon voyage to Maui for the Maui Invitational and the opener on Monday in the prestigious event against a struggling UConn Huskies team.

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