OSU basketball: Minnesota routs Cowboys, 86-66
TULSA — Mike Boynton first noticed trouble Thursday afternoon.
Oklahoma State’s basketball team, fresh off a big road win at Houston, practiced poorly. Its coach knew it. The players knew it.
For a team trying to find consistency and recapture some early-season magic, that was a sign of things to come.
Minnesota overpowered the Cowboys, 86-66, in front of 4,979 fans Saturday at the BOK Center.
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The Cowboys have lost three of the past four games. Two of the past three have been blowouts.
A scorching November has turned into a troubling December with Big 12 play around the corner.
“To be quite honest, we’ve accomplished very little,” Boynton said. “We’ve had some success. Obviously, we’ve got eight wins. We’ve played some really good teams. We lost to a good team today.
“But in the big picture, we still are a long ways away from accomplishing real meaningful goals.”
Minnesota (6-5) got 56 combined points from its two sophomore stars, Gabe Kalscheur and Daniel Oturu. Kalscheur scored 24 of his 34 in the opening half, including 16 in the final 8:54 to build a 15-point halftime lead.
OSU (8-3) looked sluggish.
“Minnesota just outplayed us, man,” Boynton said.
Minnesota got behind its pressure defense early. Then, Kalscheur got going. In the second half, Oturu dominated, even when OSU star Yor Anei was on the floor.
And the Cowboys fell behind by 29.
“You can’t just show up and expect to hoop every single day,” OSU senior Lindy Waters III said. “There’s only a handful of people in the world that can do that, and they’re all in the NBA.
“But for us, we got to come in prepared with the right mindset every single day.”
Waters was a spark in the opening half. He scored all of his team-high 17 points. He made a game-tying 3-pointer with 8:54 remaining in the half.
But Kalscheur took over, finding a myriad of ways to get loose against the Cowboys’ defense.
When the Cowboys finally responded in the second half, it was too late. The reserves fought back to a 14-point deficit with 2:40 remaining behind freshman Avery Anderson III, who scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half.
“I’d just say toughness just knowing that we were down and we didn’t have no heart in the game,” Anderson said about his second-half play. “And I just wanted to pick up the heart.”
Now, the Cowboys will regroup over the holidays for a nonconference finale next Sunday against Southeastern Louisiana. Six days later, OSU travels to national runner-up Texas Tech.
Things are about to get tough for a team trying to find its way.
“What we've got to learn how to do is handle prosperity,” Boynton said. “We have to be a team that learns how to handle success as well as we deal with adversity. And we're still not quite there yet.”