OSU basketball: Mac McClung, Georgetown hand Cowboys first loss
STILLWATER — Georgetown sharpshooter Mac McClung drained a third straight 3-pointer and immediately turned to the Oklahoma State fans sitting courtside.
With his tongue out, he let them know this was his night. It was no longer the Cowboys’.
“Hell of a night,” Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing said. “Mac stepped up and played, to me, one of his best games as Hoya.”
McClung, a viral sensation with his ability to dunk, put on a shooting display OSU just couldn’t contain on a night it was without its own star player. And now the Cowboys face their first bout of adversity on the court.
- Related to this story
- Video: OSU Basketball: Waters & McGriff comment on loss to Georgetown
- Video: OSU Basketball: Georgetown coach reviews win over OSU
- Video: OSU Basketball: Boynton on the loss to Georgetown
McClung scored 33 points — including the crucial nine-point outburst midway through the second half — to propel Georgetown to a comeback 81-74 victory over OSU on Wednesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“The stat sheet shows that he missed nine shots,” OSU coach Mike Boynton said. “I don’t remember those. I remember every one of his makes.”
The loss is the Cowboys’ first, bringing to end a seven-game win streak. The day started poorly with star sophomore Isaac Likekele ruled out due to an illness.
That led to senior Lindy Waters III playing more aggressive, scoring a career-high 29 points. Senior Cam McGriff scored 20 and grabbed six rebounds.
But the defense failed to get key stops and the offense wasn’t a smooth at times without Likekele.
“We still should have played better,” Boynton said.
Georgetown (5-3) was also short after both James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc left the program Monday. LeBlanc and Galen Alexander also received a temporary restraining order last month and two people filed allegations of burglary, sexual harassment and assault against LeBlanc, Alexander and freshman Myron Gardner. Both Alexander and Gardner played Wednesday night, but Ewing declined to address the allegations.
That just opened the door for McClung to have a big night.
The 6-foot-2 guard made 12 of 21 shots and made 4 of 8 3-pointers in 34 minutes. He teamed with 7-footer Omer Yurtseven to break through against OSU’s usually stingy defense. Yurtseven scored 19 points, including 13 in the second half, and grabbed nine rebounds.
The Hoyas shot 41 percent and they outrebounded the Cowboys 43-29.
Yet, the Cowboys still had a chance to close out the game in the second half. They battled back to take a five-point lead with 11:51 remaining. But they couldn’t hold off McClung’s 3-pointer barrage.
OSU had toyed with tight games early in the nonconference schedule, but never felt like a loss was possible. This was the first time it felt that way.
“This was a big-time college basketball game here,” Boynton said. “It’s why we build the schedule you do, or at least the way we do.”
Now, OSU must recover by Sunday when it hosts Wichita State. For a young team, this could ultimately become beneficial.
“It’s the first time that this young team has seen adversity,” Waters said. “It’s just a learning experience and tomorrow we’ve just got to get back to work and move onto the next one. It’s a long season.”