Hurricane Wipes Out Cowboys

TULSA – Travis Ford warned his Oklahoma State team earlier this week not "to get carried away" after beginning the season with six consecutive wins. The second-year head coach knew what he was talking about as Tulsa whipped his Cowboys in every phase of the game en route to an 86-65 victory Wednesday night in front of a standing room only crowd of 8,455 at the Reynolds Center.

Tulsa, now 6-1, got revenge for last year's 91-73 loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater as Justin Hurtt tied a career-high with 21 points (he scored seven against the Cowboys a year ago) and Bishop Wheatley finished with a career-best 17 points (he had just four in last year's loss at Gallagher-Iba Arena). The Cowboys lost for the first time in seven games this season.

Tulsa shot a season-best 55.6 percent from the field (compared to OSU's 39.4 percent) and the Hurricane out-rebounded the Cowboys 42-24.

‘I'm not going to make excuses when we get beat by 20. I won't do that," Ford said. "We just got it handed to us tonight, and got beat by a very good team that is very well coached. They took it to us. Plain and simple.

"That team was ready. The obviously heard the word revenge more than once this week. They gave us payback, there's no question. But there are no excuses here," Ford added.

TU 7-footer Jerome Jordan was dominant as a handful of NBA scouts were courtside watching him. He finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and six blocked shot in 25 minutes of play, and intimidated the Cowboys into numerous other missed shots.

OSU post players Marshall Moses (6-of-17 shooting) and Matt Pilgrim (4-of-9) combined for 23 points and 14 rebounds but it was obvious that Jordan's presence intimidated the Cowboys.

"He's a player. They established him very, very earlier, which we knew they would. We tried to tell our guys to limit his touches as much as possible but some of those guys are still in Las Vegas," Ford said. "He affected a lot of shots but to be honest with you I told our guys to keep taking it in there and draw him to you and dish it. We had one fella who figured it out and the other guys kept getting their shots blocked and quit going in there."

The only time the Cowboys didn't trail was after James Anderson's conventional three-point play tied the game at 3-3. But the Hurricane used an 18-7 run over the next seven minutes to take an 11-point lead and never looked back.

Oklahoma State trailed 46-31 at halftime but the Cowboys pulled within nine at 46-37 on Pilgrim's offensive rebound three minutes into the second half. Tulsa kept the pressure on behind the play of Hurtt, Wheatley, Steven Idlet (13 points), Jordan and Ben Uzoh (11 points and six assists).

The Cowboys entered the game outrebounding their opponents by 6.5 rebounds per game, but the Hurricane dominated the boards (30 defensive rebounds and 12 offensive) en route to the victory. "When we have some of the players we have and get out-rebounded like that, it's unacceptable," Ford said.

Freshman point guard Ray Penn scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Cowboys. Anderson entered the game averaging 22.8 points but scored just 10 on 3-of-15 shooting from the field. Moses (13 points) and Pilgrim (10) were the only other Cowboys in double figures.

Obi Muonelo and Keiton Page, both averaging 11.8 through the first six games, scored just seven and two points Wednesday night, respectively.

Ford says he wishes his Cowboys had listened to his warnings.

"We came back from Vegas and people were calling me and coming by saying we were 6-0, but I was (saying) whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down. We're a very young basketball team and weren't not that good yet. We're glad we were 6-0, and I'm glad we're 6-1 (now), but we had a long way to go as a basketball team. I knew that," Ford said.

"But the moment we start feeling good about ourselves things like tonight will happen against good basketball teams, and Tulsa is a very good basketball team. There's no question this is their year. I guarantee they make the NCAA Tournament, and they'll win Conference USA."

Oklahoma State was playing the Hurricane in Tulsa for the first time since 1996 (an 18-point loss in the Preseason NIT at the downtown Convention Center Arena). But it was the first time for the Cowboys to play the Hurricane in a basketball on the TU campus since 1922.

The Cowboys will return to action on Saturday against Texas-San Antonio (coached by former OSU player Brooks Thompson) at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

GoPokes Top Stories