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Oklahoma State Basketball

Oklahoma State's Season Is Over Following 77-62 Loss to UCF in Big 12 Tournament

March 12, 2024

Oklahoma State’s highly-disappointing season has finally come to an end following a 77-62 loss to UCF in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament.

The Cowboys lost six games to close out the season to finish with a 12-20 overall record and 4-14 in Big 12 play. It equaled the worst overall record with the 2018-19 season and the worst conference record since the Pokes went 3-15 in the 2015-16 season.

Particularly the second half, I thought, was where the game was ultimately was decided,” Mike Boynton said after the loss. “We got off to a really slow start on the offensive end and by the time we found our rhythm, it was way too late, got down too deep. Rebounding was an issue, as it has been for most of the season, but I'm proud of our kids, bunch of young guys who went out there and fought and competed. Every day. We didn't always play well, but we always competed hard and tried to stick together and represent the school in the right way. Unfortunately our season comes to an end today but Central Florida gets to move on. Obviously, they will continue, but we will go home."

Once again it was Javon Small who led the way in scoring for the Pokes as the junior Big 12 honorable mention guard scored 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the floor and 5-of-11 from 3-point range. Eric Dailey Jr. and Brandon Garrison finished with 12 points and 10 points respectively.

As a team, the Cowboys shot 37% from the field, 31% from 3-point range and just 63% from the free throw line. The Knights shot 40% from the field and 50% from 3-point range. The Pokes committed 13 turnovers to just seven on the other end, with the Knights scoring 17 points off the Pokes’ turnovers. They also out-rebounded the Pokes on both ends of the court, 43-37 overall, 30-27 on the defensive end and 13-10 on the offensive end. The Pokes did, however, record 11 blocks to UCF’s nine and each team recorded 12 assists.

The story of the game came at the start of the second half. The Pokes trailed by just four points going into the break, 35-31. However, the Knights came out of the half on fire as they went on a 16-0 run to go up by 17 points just five minutes into the second half, 48-31.

Eric Dailey Jr. ended the near-six minute scoring drought with a free throw at the 14:19 minute mark, but the Knights hit two buckets to take their largest lead of the game, 21 points, 50-32. The Cowboys finally hit a field goal at the 11:50 minute mark of the second half, a midrange bucket by Dailey. Up to that point, they hadn’t hit a field goal since there was a minute and a half left in the first half.

Continuing with the first and second half splits, the Cowboys shot 34% from the field, as did the Knights. The rebounds was a close stat as well with the Pokes bringing down 22 and the Knights with 24. But things shifted drastically in the second half as the Pokes shot just 23% in the first 10 minutes, with just six rebounds.

Javon Small started to get hot late as he scored five quick points to make it a 22-point game, 65-43, with just over six minutes left in the game. Three minutes later, Small had the Pokes on a 14-3 run and his total was up to 21 points following two more 3-pointers.

But it would be little too late as the Knights were able to extend their lead back up to 20 points with just over a minute left in the game.

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