OSU basketball: Cowboys dominate inside in 69-51 win against Missouri-Kansas City
STILLWATER — For 123 seconds, Oklahoma State center Yor Anei put on an offensive scoring clinic for a big man.
A mid-range jumper that caught nothing but the net. A tip-in layup on a teammate’s miss. A spinning left-handed hook shot.
It was so impressive, OSU’s student sections rained down with “Yor, Yor, Yor” chants.
“That’s mad love,” Anei said.
The scoring outburst to open the second half Saturday during the Cowboys’ 69-51 win over Missouri-Kansas City inside Gallagher-Iba Arena sparked a dominant second half and put on display how much Anei has improved offensively.
Three days after he blocked eight shots in one game, the 6-foot-10 sophomore scored 13 points, grabbed three rebounds and blocked another shot in just 18 minutes and 25 seconds on the court.
“He’s got a lot more confidence, feels stronger in the post but he’s also been able to step out both games and make a 15-, 17-foot jump shot,” OSU coach Mike Boynton said. “We’ll continue to work. That’s part of our job as coaches to maximize his ability.”
Forward Cam McGriff (12) and point guard Isaac Likekele (10) were the only others to reach double figures in scoring.
Controlling the low post was the gameplan. OSU (2-0) dominated UMKC (1-1) with 42 points inside the paint. The Cowboys also out-rebounded the Kangaroos 40-24.
By design, OSU shot just 10 3-pointers, making only two. Senior sharpshooter Thomas Dziagwa shot just once, a missed trey. Only Cam McGriff and Jonathan Laurent made 3s.
“That’s what we talked about doing,” Boynton said. “We wanted to know if we could given the opportunity to dominate a game inside. Our guys understood the gameplan and executed it. We dominated the glass, we dominated the paint and that’s what we wanted to do.”
The difference, though, was Anei taking over, even for just a short burst.
He scored nine of his points in the half — including the six-point stretch to open the half that put the game well out of reach.
Each move was a display of his offseason work to become more than just a dominant shot-blocker.
“I feel like I got a little stronger and I’m able to hold my position for a little bit longer now opposed to last year,” Anei said.
Notes: Dutch freshman Hidde Roessink left the game with a mild left knee injury in the first half. He will be re-evaluated. … Five-star commit Cade Cunningham and four-star commit Rondel Walker did not attend the game as originally planned. Both had prior commitments to play a game elsewhere.