STILLWATER – When you are sporting a 15-9 record and sitting at 4-7 in the Big 12 Conference there are going to be some good traits in your team but there are also going to be a number of deficiencies too. In the first half of the Cowboys very important game with fellow 4-7 Big 12 team Texas, one of the Pokes issues showed up.
Despite several run out lay-ups and a few follow slams there were many times the Cowboys struggled with offensive play around the basket and came up empty handed. Bad court geography, nervous hands or sweaty grips, and a few times the ball just spun or come out when it looked like it was going in. There were three cases early in the game of pitiful paint play and had the ball gone in then the Cowboys might have had an early run and led start to finish.
Instead, Oklahoma State hung in there staying within seven points the first 13 minutes of the game. The ineffective inside play happened late in the half but when in frustration the ball was thrown out to Jeffrey Carroll, who once again proved that "sometimes it's better to be lucky than good." Carroll threw up an awkward shot right before the shot clock expired. Oklahoma State, which trailed most of the first half, led at halftime 38-33.
The start of the second half showed it is also nice to be good and that when you are it usually adds up to bad luck for the other team, in this case, the Longhorns. Three unanswered baskets to start the second half from Forte, Mitchell Solomon with a lay in, then Hammonds hit a three and Texas called time out. The run didn't stop as after the time out, Texas' Eric Davis put up a flat shot that banged the front of the rim and Juwan Evans pushed it up to Forte who threw it to Carroll for a baseline trey. After a Texas make Hammonds hit it again, another three.
A 16-4 run to end the first half and then start the second half. A wise coach named Eddie Sutton once preached about the most important moments of games, and yes, the last five minutes of the first half and the first five of the second half are in there.
It's funny how things changed. With Davon Dillard doing his acrobatics act including a follow slam off a teammate's miss and Dillard hit a 3-pointer too. I'm not going to pretend that an off-balance, awkward, rushed 3-pointer is the secret to a 84-71 win over Texas in a game the Cowboys badly needed to stay on schedule for a ticket to the NCAA dance. But again, sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.