It's Ugly, But It's A Win

Travis Ford wasn't feeling well before his Oklahoma State basketball team's game with Savanna State on Tuesday night. After the first half, in which the Cowboys played perhaps their worst 20 minutes of basketball this season, the first-year head coach had reason to look ill. But even while playing poorly the Cowboys defeated the Tigers 83-56 before a crowd of 4,405 inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Oklahoma State only led by 12 points with less than 14 minutes to play before sophomore James Anderson drilled a pair of three-pointers to push the lead to 54-38, and the Cowboys cruised to the victory. As a matter of fact, Savanna State did not score for more than five minutes (from the 8:04 mark to 2:52) late in the second half as Oklahoma State used a 15-0 run to secure the victory.

"I'm just glad to get that game over with," said Ford, who saw his team improve its record to 11-3 in the Cowboys' final nonconference game before Saturday night's Big 12 opener against Texas A&M.

"Obviously it wasn't our best effort. We didn't execute overly well but we went on enough little spurts to spread the game open a little bit. I don't want to take anything away from Savanna State but we just didn't play as well as we have been playing that's for sure," Ford added.

The Cowboys led 38-26 at halftime but struggled throughout the first half. They shot just 42.3 percent from the field (11 of 26), committed eight turnovers and looked sluggish from the opening tip against the Tigers, who had lost by 62 points at Georgetown, by 32 points at Clemson, and by 26 at Alabama-Birmingham.

"It was just one of those games. I thought we played very selfishly in the first half," Ford said. "To be honest with you, I was surprised it wasn't closer than it was because we didn't play particularly well.

"It's good just to win and get it over with, and hopefully learn a lesson because we can't expect to play like that and succeed from this point on. It will be a good tape to watch, and guys can see a lot of the things they're doing wrong and we can correct them before Saturday. It just wasn't our best game."

Anderson led the Cowboys with 23 points and contributed 7 rebounds. Obi Muonelo came within one rebound of recording his seventh double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Byron Eaton was the only other Cowboy in double figures with 16 points.

Ford did praise the play of sophomore Marshall Moses, who came off the bench to score four points and block three shots in 12 minutes of play.

"I thought Marshall played well down the stretch, and that's about it," Ford said when asked if he was pleased with the play of any OSU player.

But now it becomes a whole new ballgame for the Cowboys, who host the 14-1 Texas A&M Aggies in the conference opener Saturday night at GIA.

"I think we're ready for it. We're excited about it," Ford said. "I don't think you ever know for sure until you start up and get it going. That's what we just talked about (in the locker room), the warms up over with and the real deal starts now. That's why you come to Oklahoma State, to be a part of the Big 12 and compete. Hopefully this place will be sold-out, and we'll have a big crowd in here. We're going to need it."

GoPokes Top Stories