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12/08/2012 7:29 PM EST
No. 23 Cowboys drop Missouri State 62-42
OKLAHOMA ST 62, MISSOURI ST 42
By JEFF LATZKE
AP Sports Writer
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Travis Ford could have picked apart all
the little things that went wrong during No. 23 Oklahoma State's
62-42 win against Missouri State on Saturday. The Cowboys coach
decided he just wanted to move on.
"You've got to pick and choose when you really let in on them,"
Ford voiced his displeasure during the second timeout of the
second half, after the Bears (2-7) had scored 10 straight points
to bring a little bit of drama back into a game that was a
21-point blowout at halftime.
But that was the extent of his lecturing.
"I wasn't hard on our guys after the game. It was more of a
teaching moment for me," Ford said. "Get their attention by just
teaching them and talking to them after the game."
It seemed to do the trick.
"We can't do that on a consistent basis," said Markel Brown, who
led Oklahoma State with 15 points. "It'll hurt us in the long
There was never any harm in this one. The Cowboys (7-1) scored
14 of the game's first 16 points and were never really
threatened after that.
After a dreadful first half, Missouri State came out of the
break hot and closed to 34-23 on Nathan Scheer's 3-pointer from
the wing. The Bears hit their first four shots and eight of
their first 11 in the second half, but couldn't keep up the
A turnover and three straight misses gave an opening for an 11-0
burst, and Michael Cobbins' jumper with 8:09 left pushed the
lead back to 53-31 and put it away.
Oklahoma State has won all eight meetings in the series,
including victories the past three seasons.
"I told our guys we made some improvements and then we take a
step back but we just have to continue to get better," Missouri
State coach Paul Lusk said. "This experience, going against a
team like that with that kind of talent, that kind of size, that
kind of athleticism and strength, has got to pay off for us down
Christian Kirk and Anthony Downing led Missouri State with eight
The Bears came into the game shooting just 34 percent against
Division I competition, losing all six of those games. In their
previous two games, they were a combined 3 for 45 on 3-pointers.
They didn't fare any better against a Cowboys defense limiting
opponents to just 36 percent shooting. Missouri State shot 33
percent from the field and made only three of its 18 tries from
"It's who we are and we really have to quit talking about it
because we've just got to get better in areas," Lusk said. "When
we do struggle to score, you have to value possessions and not
turn it over 14 times.
"But we are who we are. We still have to find ways to get
Oklahoma State was just as cold from behind the arc, going 4 for
23, but dominated the glass 46-22. Le'Bryan Nash and Cobbins
scored 10 points apiece.
Freshman Marcus Smart was held to half his 14-point average,
playing just 21 minutes because of foul trouble. The point guard
had four turnovers and no assists.
None of the flaws - the lapse at the start of the second half,
the off-target 3-point shooting or the generally off night on
offense - were of that much concern to Ford.
The Cowboys were in control from the outset, scoring 13 straight
points to go up 14-2 on Phil Forte's 3-pointer from the right
wing with 14:14 left before halftime.
Forte, given a second chance after an offensive rebound by
Cobbins, hit another 3 to spark an 11-0 surge to finish the
first half and stretch Oklahoma State's advantage to 34-13.
Missouri State shot 6 for 28 (21 percent) from the field and got
doubled up on the boards in the first half.
Ford said he thought he got his players' attention at halftime
but "I guess I didn't."
"I think our guys came out in the second half just thinking they
were automatically going to miss. Not that that's an excuse,"
Ford said. "They heard it from me in a few timeouts that we've
got to respond better than we're responding here in the second
"But I understand the mentality a little bit."
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