The Cowboys, now 7-1, defeated a UTSA team that upset the Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big 10 on the Hawkeyes' homecourt earlier in the season. The Roadrunners, coached by former OSU player Brooks Thompson, came to Stillwater with a 6-1 record.
Anderson, Moses and Page struggled in the 21-point loss to Tulsa, combining for just 25 points (compared to their average of more than 46) while making just 10 of 36 shots from the field.
But the trio of underclassmen played much better against the Roadrunners. Anderson led the Cowboys with 21 points while adding 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Moses contributed 12 points and 16 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Page had 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from three-point range. The three Cowboys combined to shoot 18-of-30 on Saturday.
"We've had a few conversations with Keiton the last few days as far as challenging him to be better than he has been because I do think Keiton is one of the best players, and can help us be successful in so many ways," said OSU head coach Travis Ford.
"We challenged him the last couple of days and we were anxious to see how he'd respond, and he responded. It says a little about a player when your back is against the wall. He knew he hadn't been playing as well as he was capable of, and he came out with a lot of confidence and had a little more hip to his step, had a little more bounce to him. I'm glad to see he responded the way he did."
Ford thought that Moses played the best game of the season. "That was Marshall's best game of the year, by far," the Cowboy head coach said. "He has not been playing terrible but just has not been playing Marshall Moses basketball, and doing enough to help our basketball team be successful, even when we've won games.
"I think Marshall has been too focused on scoring, and wanting the ball. What made him a great player last year was (he had the attitude) just let me play defense and let me rebound and everything else is ice cream on the top. It's funny when you just concentrate on those two things, it's funny how you end up with 12 points and you're scoring in the post," Ford added.
The Cowboys led 45-34 after Moses scored with 14:27 remaining in the game, and it appeared that head coach Travis Ford's team would pull away for an easy victory. But OSU went scoreless for more than six minutes, and the Roadrunners went on a 9-0 run to pull within two points.
But Page's three-point from the top of the key with 8:00 showing on the clock ended the six and a half minute scoring drought and the Cowboys pulled away down the stretch.
"Ugly, grinder ... there are a lot of words you could use for this one but I'm happy we won is the way we feel," Ford said. "It was very ugly for the fact that we had 18 turnovers, we gave up eight second shots in the second half but, as I told our team, our defense won the game for us.
"I thought we played great defense, and we rebounded when we needed to. We didn't have a great rebounding (game, not like I would have liked after our last performance at Tulsa but it was a better rebounding night, and we did get the big ones when we needed 'em.
"I'm just happy we won. This is could have went either way, easily."
The Cowboys will now get a week off before returning to action Sunday, Dec. 13, against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Cowboys Get Back On Track
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