Cold Cowboys eliminated from Big 12
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Friday, March 15, 2013
3/15/13 at 11:57 PM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Oklahoma State Cowboys suffered through their worst offensive game of the season tonight at the Sprint Center, and it cost them a 68-57 Big 12 semifinal loss to Kansas State.
The No. 2-seed Wildcats advanced to face top-seeded Kansas in Saturday's conference championship. The third-seeded Cowboys were sent home to await their NCAA Tournament draw, and to get some rest.
They certainly looked tired tonight. They spent the first four minutes of the game missing three shots (two were blocked and a Marcus Smart 3-pointer was air balled), turning the ball over three times and picking up four fouls.
"We weren't in rhythm to start the game," Smart said, "and it carried over."
Smart finally got them going with back-to-back 3s midway through the first half, allowing OSU to take an 11-7 lead against the equally-cold Wildcats. But the hot streak didn't last long.
Kansas State surged ahead 28-23 at the half as the Cowboys shot 9-of-28 and turned it over eight times.
The second half started just like the first. Michael Cobbins lost the ball in the lane. Markel Brown overshot the rim. OSU was called for a 10-second violation in backcourt.
Rodney McGruder scored a quick seven points at the other end, and K-State opened a lead it would maintain the rest of the game.
McGruder went on to score 18 of his game-high 25 points in the second half. Point guard Angel Rodriguez added 17 as the Wildcats improved to 27-6.
Smart led the 24-8 Cowboys with 18 points. If he wasn't creating something on his own, his offense was stuck in the mud. OSU shot 30 percent for the game. They went 5-of-21 from 3 and finished with 14 turnovers (versus just 10 assists).
"We left Marcus hanging out there," said Brown, who finished with eight points. "That's something we can't do."
Le'Bryan Nash didn't score until making two free throws with 9:35 left in the game. He finished with 11 points.
"Fatigue wasn't the problem for us," Nash said. "We just didn't make shots."
"I thought we were fighting," OSU coach Travis Ford said. "We just couldn't get anything to go our way... We were trying everything, but we couldn't get anything to work. It was just one of those nights. It happens."
OSU's Brian Williams dunks against Kansas State in the semifinals at the Big 12 Tournament. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World