Page last updated on Sat Jan 31 12:40:26 EST 2015
03/02/2013 8:26 PM EST
No. 15 Cowboys corral Kabongo, beat Texas 78-65
OKLAHOMA ST 78, TEXAS 65
By JEFF LATZKE
AP Sports Writer
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- In preparing his Oklahoma State team to
face Texas, coach Travis Ford focused so much on stopping Myck
Kabongo that he worried Saturday that he might have been too
dismissive of how good his teammates were, too.
It turned out his emphasis on Kabongo was the farthest thing
Markel Brown scored 18 points, Le'Bryan Nash added 16 and the
15th-ranked Cowboys corralled Kabongo to beat Texas 78-65.
A showcase of two of the Big 12's marquee point guards ended up
being a sloppy one, with Kabongo committing a career-high seven
turnovers while the Cowboys' Marcus Smart had five.
"We put a big emphasis on slowing him down," Ford said. "Their
last five games that he's played in, that ball's been in his
hands 90 percent of the time. We thought he was a pretty big key
to their team."
Oklahoma State (22-6, 12-4 Big 12) took advantage of two of
Kabongo's turnovers to score the final eight points of the first
half and start an 18-2 run that carried beyond halftime. By the
time it was over, the Cowboys were firmly in front at 47-33
after Nash drove through traffic for a right-handed slam.
Texas (13-16, 5-11) never got within 10 points after that.
In the first 16 minutes, Smart didn't score and committed all
five of his turnovers. He played a clean game after that, ending
up with 11 points, four steals and three assists.
"You can always count on him coming back and doing something
positive," Ford said. "His stat line is always amazing. He
always ends up with great stats. ... It doesn't overly concern
me because I know we're going to get something out of him. But
when he's locked in from the beginning, it obviously makes our
team that much better."
The Cowboys sent two defenders at Kabongo at every chance,
forcing him into mistakes or simply getting the ball out of the
hands of Texas' top scorer. The Longhorns had won three of five
after Kabongo returned from a 23-game NCAA suspension, and he
had a career-best 31 points in the win against Oklahoma in his
Kabongo ended up with a season-low seven points and eight
assists, missing five of his seven shots.
"I don't know why Myck wasn't doing the things we asked him to
do," coach Rick Barnes said. "We knew that would happen. We had
three guys out there that played the point, four really.
"I think Myck got caught up in it a little bit, trying to do it
too much by himself."
Julien Lewis returned after missing the last game with a
concussion and led Texas with 15 points, hitting four of 11 from
3-point range. Javan Felix scored 13 points.
Barnes decided to play his second-leading scorer, Sheldon
McClellan, just 7 minutes. He did not score.
"We know our guys. We know when they're engaged, we know when
they're focused and that's what we base it on," Barnes said. "I
think those guys will tell you if they're doing what we want
them to do, they can make mistakes. We don't expect them to be
perfect. What we want: We want guys engaged.
"We're around these guys every day of the year almost. We know
when they're focused, like Myck had a tough day today and he
fought it. He was trying to do it, maybe do too much."
The Longhorns tried to deploy their full-court press, but
couldn't duplicate their comeback from a 22-point deficit in the
final 8 minutes of regulation in an overtime win against
Oklahoma on Wednesday night.
Oklahoma State was able to handle the pressure without much
trouble, using it to create easy scoring chances.
Phil Forte grabbed a press-breaking outlet pass and hit an open
3-pointer from the left wing, and Brown converted a three-point
play on the Cowboys' next possession after getting a high-arcing
runner to go over the corner of the backboard and fall in. His
ensuing free throw stretched the lead to 65-46 with 7:31
"Everybody wants to know why you don't press all the time. Well,
certain teams obviously handle pressure more than other teams,"
Barnes said. "We don't want to have to get behind and scramble
all the time."
The Cowboys also returned the favor with their own trapping
pressure in the half court, and both teams wound up with 18
"We love doing pressure, especially when we go to four guards
with me at the four position," Nash said. "We love pressing
guys. I think we're the most athletic team in the Big 12, so we
have to show it sometimes by pressing.
"We love to turn people over and convert it into easy baskets.
When you're doing that, it just makes your job more easy on
Forte ended up with 14 points as Oklahoma State swept the
regular-season series against Texas for the first time since
2004. The Cowboys had lost 11 of 12 to the Longhorns before
winning three straight.
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