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OSU basketball: 3 takeways from Cowboys' 70-62 win at Marquette

Oklahoma State’s men’s basketball team passed its first big test.

The Cowboys handed Marquette its first loss of the season with a 70-62 road victory, showing an ability to play suffocating defense while getting a balanced offensive attack.

And they did it short-handed with Chris Harris Jr., Avery Anderson III and Montreal Pena unavailable.

Here are three takeaways from the big win:


D-E-F-E-N-S-E

OSU’s defense was simply masterful.

Zone. Man-to-man. Full-court presses. Half-court traps.

Cowboys coach Mike Boynton mixed up the looks and at exactly the right times. And for a coach who prefers an aggressive man defense, it was a sight to see such a mixture.

Plus, it’s apparent he’s got a talented recruiting class buying into defense.

The Cowboys got behind early, but turned to a press to start applying pressure. They went to the zone, using their length to cause problems. 

That led to forcing 24 turnovers. OSU also held Marquette to 25.8% shooting overall in the second half. 

Marquette didn’t even make its second field goal until around 8 minutes had passed in the half. The third field goal came with 6:26 remaining. 

The defense led to transition points for the Cowboys, a key for the run-and-gun freshmen. OSU outscored Marquette 36-22 in the paint.


Hello, Bryce Williams

Boynton didn’t mix words about Ole Miss transfer Bryce Williams in the preseason.

Boynton believes Williams is the most complete guard on the roster. That includes Cade Cunningham and Isaac Likekele.

After missing the opener at Texas-Arlington due to an emergency dental procedure and then playing just 3 minutes against Texas Southern, Williams finally had his chance to show why Boynton believes that.

Williams scored 13 points, making 3 of 5 3-pointers, to go along with three assists, three steals and two rebounds off the bench.

He was electric, especially when Cunningham and Likekele went to the bench at the same time in the first half.

Williams’ energy was also matched by freshman Rondel Walker, who for the second straight game made a huge difference off the bench.

Walker scored 16 points to lead the Cowboys.


Battle of star freshmen

Cunningham vs. Dawson Garcia.

It’s the first of a few big matchups Cunningham will have against highly-touted freshmen this season.

This one goes to Cunningham.

He finished with 15 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 31 minutes.

Garcia, a 6-foot-11 stretch forward, didn’t have as much success. He shot just 2 of 9 overall, finishing with four points and two rebounds in 27 minutes.

It was clear that Cunningham was the best player on the floor. 

Take this early sequence: He hit a smooth jumper, forced Garcia into a turnover and then posted up a smaller defender for a layup.

That is incredibly tough to slow down. And it got the Cowboys going after their slow start.

Related Photos
Cade Cunningham had 15 points and six rebounds for Oklahoma State in a 70-62 win at Marquette on Tuesday. [OSU ATHLETICS]

Cade Cunningham had 15 points and six rebounds for Oklahoma State in a 70-62 win at Marquette on Tuesday. [OSU ATHLETICS]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8a3f5c13a4f1c31a4cdd48f8c2c7f305.jpg" alt="Photo - Cade Cunningham had 15 points and six rebounds for Oklahoma State in a 70-62 win at Marquette on Tuesday. [OSU ATHLETICS]" title="Cade Cunningham had 15 points and six rebounds for Oklahoma State in a 70-62 win at Marquette on Tuesday. [OSU ATHLETICS]"><figcaption>Cade Cunningham had 15 points and six rebounds for Oklahoma State in a 70-62 win at Marquette on Tuesday. [OSU ATHLETICS]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c2343f171a6b9f2ad8421804643874ed.jpg" alt="Photo - Pistol Pete walks on the court during an NCAA basketball game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Texas Longhorns at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. Oklahoma State lost 76-64. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Pistol Pete walks on the court during an NCAA basketball game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Texas Longhorns at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. Oklahoma State lost 76-64. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Pistol Pete walks on the court during an NCAA basketball game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Texas Longhorns at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. Oklahoma State lost 76-64. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Jacob Unruh

Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the... Read more ›

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