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Oklahoma State Basketball

Kalib Boone the Grinder of the Day but Texas Gets Back on Track 56-46

January 7, 2023
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STILLWATER – A throwback Saturday inside Gallagher-Iba Arena saw one of the largest crowds in recent memory inside the building and a style of game that old Pokes masters Henry Iba and Eddie Sutton would be proud of as defense was the theme. Oklahoma State had to battle No. 6-Texas without seven-one post Moussa Cisse. Cisse, who injured his ankle in the first half of the Tuesday win over West Virginia suited up but did not warm up or play in the contest.

The fan in the orange robe was back, Orange Power guy was in the house as were alumni poms, cheerleaders, and the alumni band. There were mullets, real and wigs. There were bare chests painted orange, even some bellies painted orange. The crowd was an impressive 7,300 strong. They saw a competitive game.

This one was a grinder that needed a hero, but it was a slow developing one. For Oklahoma State it was going to be Kalib Boone. He was the best Cowboys grinder of them all. Texas escaped with a 56-46 win that was closer than the final score. Boone had 16 points and hit all four of his free throws and he was 6-of-9 from the floor. He had 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double. Boone did it on both ends as with Cisse out he had six of the 12 blocked shots by the Cowboys.

“He had his motor going and seemed to have a lot more going on today because of the absence of the big man (Cisse),” John-Michael Wright said of Boone. “He knew he had to pick it up and we tried to pick it up with him.”

Boone scored on a lay in with13:52 on the clock in the second half to keep the Cowboys close at 35-31. Then again, Boone with the slam dunk off the assist feed by freshman Quion Williams to make the score 37-33. With 11:24 left Boone forced his body through Texas defenders to the basket to make it 40-38 as close as it had been since very early in the contest. 

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Boone’s big finish to make it 43-41.

Boone was back at it in the grind and this time more spectacular as Chris Harris fed him above the rim and Boone made it shake on the alley oop as OSU was back within two at 43-41. Then two possessions later with defense still in charge Caleb Asberry drilled a three-pointer from the wing and Oklahoma State led 44-43 their first advantage since 2:38 into the game when they led 3-2.

“It wasn’t just late. It was pretty much most of the night,” Cowboys head coach Mike Boynton said of the offense not delivering late and pushing through at the end. “It was our defense just holding the line and our transition defense didn’t hold up. It was a critical time in the game and after a three, which I think was our last basket in the game and give it right back in transition on a foul and that stops your momentum. We have to be better in those situations.”

Woody Newton had extended playing time over what he’s been seeing and the 6-9 guard hit a free throw for a one-point Cowboys lead. Then after Timmy Allen scored on a lay-up and Marcus Carr hit a baseline bunny for Texas, Newton missed the front end of a one-and-one. The game was so close that missed opportunities were magnified. Oklahoma State was 12-of-21 from the free throw line for 57 percent and there were no defenders standing in the way there.

“We’re a better free throw shooting team than we showed,” Boynton said. “I’m confident that my guys can make it the next time they are back out there. I do believe free throw shooting is about toughness.”

I believe he means mental toughness.

Oklahoma State missed several other free throws and struggled to score in the final five minutes. Texas Brock Cunningham had nailed several important baskets including an earlier three-pointer but his three from the top of the key with 1:58 left propped the Longhorns to a 53-46 lead that if not for intentional fouling might have stood the time remaining. Cunningham had eight points and Texas was led by Carr with 12 points.

The game opened with an almost immediate assurance that it would be a grinder and that defense would rule the day. Oklahoma State came in with one of the best defensive teams in the country and the best in the Big 12. Texas coming off a home loss in their new Moody Arena where Kansas State set a Big 12 and school scoring record winning 116-103, so you knew the Longhorns had been drilling D.

“I give my guys a lot of credit. This game was won on Thursday back in Austin, not on Saturday in Stillwater,” Texas interim head coach Rodney Terry. “We lost our identity (against Kansas State) giving up 116-points and I was proud of the way they came back knowing how hard it is to win games here against Coach Mike’s teams.”

They suffocated Oklahoma State on the first possession guarding until a turnover as the shot clock buzzer went off. Oklahoma State basically did the same to Texas and the first points of the game did not come until several minutes in after a foul by Anderson sent Tyrese Hunter to the line to sink a pair of free throws. 

“Anytime you give up that many points coach is going to make sure your guard and come out ready to play and that is what they did,” Wright said of the Texas defensive effort in the rebound off the loss to K-State and the record offensive output the Cats had against Texas.

Neither team was able to separate early as the defensive theme continued with Texas shooting 36 percent from the field and the Cowboys 44 percent but only because they struggled getting shots off. The first decent lead in the game of six came when Sir’Jabari Rice drove down the baseline unattended and laid the ball in for a 13-7 lead at the 12:31 mark and immediately Cowboys coach Mike Boynton called time out. The margins were tighter on this Saturday.

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Disu was big for Texas.

One of the most interesting exchanges came when Dylan Disu of Texas who had moments earlier hit a corner three for an 18-12 Texas lead, took the pass inside and did a full post move exhibition wrap around the basket and scored for the biggest lead at the time for the Horns 22-14. The struggling to score Pokes came down and in the corner John-Michael Wright scored his first points of the game on a corner trey and Disu did the Cowboys a big favor fouling on the made three. The four-point play pushed the Pokes back to 22-18.

Texas carved out several eight-point leads only to have the Cowboys continue to stay in touch, several times with the help of free throws. The first half finished with Texas up 32-24 and the scoring drought for both teams extended through the final 3:05 of the first 20 minutes. Throwback indeed with Texas shooting 32 percent and the Cowboys 33 percent with 11 first half turnovers.

The second half started immediately with Texas grabbing the first double-digit lead of the morning-afternoon with Timmy Allen on a jumper in the paint for a 34-34 lead with just 20 seconds gone. The game remained in range with Texas lead ranging from eight to four points. 

Highlights for the Cowboys included John-Michael Wright with a three-pointer off a nifty cross court pass from Avery Anderson to make it 34-29 Texas. It was about that time that Boone tried and came close to willing Oklahoma State to the win, but couldn’t do it with the help he received and didn’t receive. 

Boone was not one of the two Oklahoma State players brought to talk to the media afterwards and Boynton’s response on Boone’s game was to say the least interesting. 

“I’ve got to be careful because I don’t want this to be critical. I’m never a critical person with the kids, but this was his 102nd game and we should expect this from him at this point,” Boynton said of Boone. “We should come in surprised when he doesn’t play well as opposed to the other way around. It is time he starts to do it every day.”

Oklahoma State falls to 9-6 and 1-2 in the Big 12. Texas is now 13-2 and 2-1 in Big 12 play. The Cowboys will play at surging Kansas State on Jan. 10 and then go to Waco to play Baylor on Jan. 14 before hosting Oklahoma for Bedlam on Jan. 18.

Discussion from...

Kalib Boone the Grinder of the Day but Texas Gets Back on Track 56-46

1,629 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by CaliforniaCowboy
Joe Khatib
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You hold a team to 31% shooting from the field and still lose by 10 points!!!!!! They held Central Florida to 32% shooting and also lost in overtime!
PaloDuroPoke
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Lack of offense. Poor foul shooting. Turnovers. Bad shots. Hard to win. The only star this team has is Cisse. Coach needs to quit letting Thompson and Avery be the center of our offense. Neither handles the ball well. Find their roles and move the ball. To much dribble and no movement. Two solid games for Boone. He is so athletic but he needs to make quick decisions without dribbling or bringing the ball down in post. Too many turnovers. This teams defense can keep them in the games but we need smarter plays on offense. Frustrating.
CaliforniaCowboy
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Cisse was the only advantage that we had over Texas, and I was totally disappointed when the game started without him. I was hoping he was only hobbled, not completely out.

I was most disappointed by the team not passing the dang ball. They would dribble until the clock ran out, or dribble and dribble then pull up and get trapped with nobody rushing over as a relief valve.

It was flat ugly OSU basketball. They have to do better at moving the ball around. Texas did a good job of keeping a hand in the passing lanes, but most of the passes were from downtown to sixth street. It was horrible.

We might have had a chance if Anderson and Thompson had not gotten in foul trouble so early, then Newton started racking up the fouls and sat the bench for long stretches.

We have to do better at foul shooting, anything below 66% is not acceptable.

We had to defend home court to have a chance in this league, especially a winnable game like this one.

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