Cowboy senior guard Phil Forte knew this week that if he hit a couple of 3-pointers in the game with Arkansas that the countdown would be on, but he honestly didn't want that to be the case. The more important objectives in Saturday's Big 12/SEC Challenge were to win the game and keep the Cowboys current string of victories going and continue to build the confidence that has been part of the consecutive wins against Texas Tech in Lubbock and at home with TCU last Monday.
There was plenty to be thinking about other than the school's career 3-point record.
"I just have to give all the credit to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and next to my teammates. I've had so many great teammates to come through here, great coaches," Forte said wanting to distribute the credit like he was teammate Juwan Evans dribbling into the front court looking for assists.
"Seeing how my teammates reacted is what made it so special: the reaction on the bench and them coming up to me and high-fiving. It was definitely the best part of the game. Without [my teammates], I don't know where I would be. I can't give them enough thanks. Not just for today or anything, but they were trying to get me a shot throughout the game and my career."
"Congratulations to Phil, that's impressive," head coach Brad Underwood said to the media choosing to address Phil's record and Remember the 10 before discussing the game. "Any time somebody becomes the best at something, especially at such a storied and great program like this one. I'm happy for him."
Forte said he could feel it throughout the game and with Oklahoma State leading big throughout and especially in the second half it made it easier to think about getting the record.
Forte, Evans and Underwood all admitted in the postgame that the last 10 minutes of the game they were looking for opportunities and there was a time-out called to discuss plays to set up Forte for the clincher 3-pointer to pass former Cowboy and now assistant director of player development Keiton Page's career total of 299.
"It was definitely fun to do this in front of our fans. We had a good turnout today. I thought the fans were great," Forte said still distributing credit to more folks. "They gave us a lot of energy, and we fed off that early in the first half. It was a moment that I won't forget, but I am definitely blessed to put the Oklahoma State uniform on and be able to take the court with this group of guys."
It was great to do it at Gallagher-Iba Arena because had he waited until Monday there would not have been much enthusiasm or recognition of the accomplishment in the Lloyd Noble Center on Monday night in Bedlam. All well and good that it happened today and give Phil Forte credit.
He gets it, he's a Cowboy and even with his record he understood what was really huge on Saturday and he expressed it well in Remembering the 10, because breaking a record for career 3-pointers is a good way to honor 10 men that loved basketball and Oklahoma State.
"It's a special moment every year," Forte said of this game and occasion. "It's always a big game for us. It is something that is bigger than basketball. It is something that the fans, the Stillwater community, Oklahoma State fans everywhere kind of come together and try to cherish that moment and pay your respects to the family. I can't imagine what those families had to go through, and we just want to honor them any way we can."