Two games, two blowout losses. That’s not the way Oklahoma State envisioned starting conference play, despite a brutal early schedule. After losing 85-50 at #22 Texas Tech on Saturday to open Big 12 play, the Cowboys returned home Monday night for a 55-41 defeat at the hands of #17 West Virginia.
It isn’t the effort that has doomed OSU over the last two games, it has been the execution. More specifically making shots. The Cowboys shot 28.8% from the floor against the Red Raiders and 29.2% against the Mountaineers. Monday night’s loss to West Virginia also saw them shoot 1-for-20 from three-point range so you don’t have to look hard to find the issue that has resulted in a 0-2 start in conference.
“At some point, we’re going to shoot better,” OSU head coach Mike Boynton said after Monday’s loss. “You can’t score 40 and 50 and win consistently in the Big 12, it’s just not realistic. We got to find a way to get more rhythm offensively and make more shots.”
Oklahoma State hasn’t necessarily been outplayed in the first two conference games. The Cowboys kept the Mountaineers to under 40% shooting and forced 20 turnovers. They just couldn’t finish on the offensive end of the floor.
“It wasn’t really anything that we haven’t seen before,” Cameron McGriff said when asked about how West Virginia defended them. “I think what we didn’t do was make shots. We didn’t shoot well, 1-for-20 on 3’s so that’s not good. We got a lot of good looks, we just didn’t knock them down.”
The effort is there and Boynton sees it. At some point that effort needs to turn into points though.
“I thought defensively we did a lot of really good things,” coach said Monday night. “Forced 20 turnovers, we held them to less than 40% shooting, and we hold our own on the glass against what I think is the best offensive rebounding team in the country…”
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