Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cowboys: It ‘doesn’t get any better’ than breaking road skid at Allen Fieldhouse

Oklahoma State forward Michael Cobbins signals the ball going the Cowboys' way next to Kansas center Jeff Withey during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Oklahoma State forward Michael Cobbins signals the ball going the Cowboys' way next to Kansas center Jeff Withey during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after loss to Oklahoma State

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State on Feb. 2, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Kevin Young, Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore

Kansas players Kevin Young, Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore talk after the Jayhawks' 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State on Feb. 2, 2013, at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

OSU coach Travis Ford

Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford talks to reporters following his team's 85-80 victory over Kansas on Feb. 2, 2013.

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Box score


Just after the final buzzer, in the middle of a group embrace with assistant coaches, Oklahoma State men’s basketball coach Travis Ford turned to assistant Steve Middleton.

“Oh my god,” the coach said with raised eyebrows, as if he couldn’t believe what had just happened following his team’s 85-80 victory over Kansas University on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

The 16,300 fans who attended the game were stunned as well. KU, which had won 102 of its last 103 games at home, fell to an OSU team that had gone 1-22 in its last 23 Big 12 road games.

“Everybody talks about, ‘Coach Ford can’t win on the road,’” OSU sophomore Le’Bryan Nash said. “This should get the monkey off his back. Because at Kansas? It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Clearly, the Cowboys understood the significance of the moment. A few seconds after his game-sealing steal — and after the final seconds ticked off the clock — freshman guard Marcus Smart flipped a cartwheel into a backflip in front of press row.

“We couldn’t believe it. We just beat them,” Smart said. “We were just celebrating and very excited about it.”

Smart said he’d performed a backflip twice in high school after games at state. This one was spontaneous.

“I just had so much adrenaline,” Smart said. “I was so excited and ecstatic about the victory that it was just kind of second nature. It just came to me to do it.”

Smart dominated the second half, scoring 15 of his 23 points after halftime on 5-for-7 shooting. He also had seven rebounds in the final 20 minutes, which included six on the offensive end.

“We encouraged him in timeouts to start rebounding,” Ford said. “We needed him to start rebounding.”

Junior guard Markel Brown was the star of the first half for OSU, scoring 22 of his 28 points then with help from 5-for-7 three-point shooting.

“I missed the first shot, and I kind of got down on myself,” Brown said. “My teammates said, ‘Keep shooting.’ After I made my first shot, I think it was a three-pointer, I kept shooting it, and it kept going in for me.”

After leading by as many as 14 in the first half, OSU fell behind, 46-45, with 15:16 left following a Ben McLemore three.

“I told our team what’s impressive ... 98, 99 percent of all teams who get a big lead in here and then lose it in the second half very rarely, if ever, come back,” Ford said. “It takes so much out of you. That’s probably the biggest thing I was proud of.”

With his team leading, 83-80, with seven seconds left, Ford called a timeout and told his team not to foul KU. It worked, as Smart poked a steal away from KU guard Elijah Johnson.

“We had our rebounders out of the game, so if you go to the free-throw line, you don’t have our main rebounders in the game,” Ford said. “So I told our guys, ‘We are going to switch everything and protect the three-point line, but if you get beat, then we can foul, and we’ll take our chances.’ I told them, ‘Let’s D up. Let’s make them miss.’”


Joe Satterwhite 6 years, 5 months ago

Says something when OSUs staff and players are celebrating like they just won the national championship...I would say act like you've been there but really and truly, they never have...

actorman 6 years, 5 months ago

That's utterly ridiculous on two levels, jsatt:

(1) Any team that wins at AFH has a right to celebrate, as it's a tremendous accomplishment.

(2) If you honestly think that THAT celebration was the same as when teams win a national championship, you haven't seen many title games.

John Randall 6 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, there are greater achievements, but not by much. OkSt even has a NC banner from the Hank Iba days – not only pre-big12, bit pre-big8 as well.

It is just petty to say anything but, "They played hard, and when we gave them some chances – they beat our butts."

With the 'can't win on road' monkey off their back, they are a legitimate threat for the Conference Title - this may well be one we have to share, maybe two ways, maybe even more. At least five big12 teams are going to be hard outs in the big dance.

John Mueller 6 years, 5 months ago

Congrats to the Pokes. They whipped us. They really did. Their offensive rebounding in the second half won the game when they could have faltered.

They deserve the credit. I had to ride home with an OSU alum after the game. I thought about leaving him in the parking lot.

The only formula for this team to win is defense and aggressive, tough, physical play around the ball / loose balls.

We were horrendous today on sealing after a shot.

I am not big on calling out these guys, cuz they are kids and I get that, but Elijah Johnson had a three possession stretch late in the game, turnover, fail to box his guy on an o rebound that turned into a bunny and another TO on a lazy pass that turned into a dunk. Just awful.

Perry Elllis is completely weak. He got a ball taken away from him that was sickening.

I hope he gets to play with Thomas Robinson this summer cuz right now, he's a cat that starts with p and ends with ussy.


gchawk 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm with the others posters who are giving OSU accolades for winning. It was inevitable that we would get defeated at home at some point, and there is no shame in getting beat by OSU, they played their hearts out. Better to have them end the streak than many other schools I can think of.

KEITHMILES05 6 years, 5 months ago

OSU wanted this game more than our guys did. Our guys have been playing and acting lackidaisal and not focused. If Self doesn't make playing adjustments I'll be sorely disappointed. NOBODY at KU has a full time secured spot playing and that includes all seniors. I understand one or two games being the above but to have 5 or 6 games in a row? Unbelieveably poor attitudes and these adjusted. Kudos to HCBS calling out the team publicity.

Robert Brock 6 years, 5 months ago

If we are going to learn from losses, the Hawks may learn four or five more times before the conference tournament begins.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 5 months ago

The silver lining is maybe Mr. T-Boone will figure he's got an OK coach after all and leave Bill alone for awhile!!!

Steve Reigle 6 years, 5 months ago

OSU won the game. Yesterday they were the better team. Period. We've had this same situation in the past and benefitted from it. I'd rather lose now and wake the guys up and have the incentive to get better. This hurts, now, big time, but in the long run it will be a turning point for KU. Congrats to OSU, team and fans, for a great game.

Dick Williams 6 years, 5 months ago

What a pathetic loss. Of the two previous miracle home wins this one had one major difference, they had a three possession lead after being down by big numbers for the majority of the 40 minutes. If this does not fire up your squad to finish off an inferior team on your home court, where it is so difficult for opponents to win, then you deserve to lose because your players have obviously decided they are too good to hustle on every possession like Smart was such a good example of during this most frustrating loss.

And Johnson handling the ball down the court for a seven second possession to possibly tie the game? I got so mad about that last possession my dog ran out of the room and this never happens as he is accustomed to my getting upset during games and usually sleeps right through my tirades. EJ should have been the last one handling the ball here after playing so poorly during every portion of this game and for that matter a great deal of the season. There are a great number of Community Ball players that would have stolen the ball from him; all the way down to the Junior High level.

Good loss though as it was time to remind these boys they are not as good as they obviously think they are and that they have to play like OSU's Smart if they want to win what is truly in their grasp this year and that is the Big Dance, in my humble opinion. How do you allow this guy Smart to not only offensively rebound free throws but then put them in the bucket?! Sure we only have a 185 lb four man and a 200 lb center but with their skill set and coordination it proves they are either not practicing how to get the fricking ball over the rim or we are not coaching them how to do it. I digress...

I think it is time - and bless you EJ for the years that you had your head in the game and were a big part of our success - for Bill to take him out of the lineup and even perhaps give AW III more minutes. Good time to start working with next year's guys when you have Seniors that have quit thinking about the game altogether.

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