MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 9, 2013

MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Cowboys snap skid


Phoenix staff, wire reports

— STILLWATER — Oklahoma State got exactly what it needed to buck its first losing streak of the season — a short-handed, overmatched Texas Christian University squad.

Though the game was never in doubt with the Cowboys rolled to a 63-45 blowout, the Pokes played down to their opponents — finishing with more turnovers and never putting together a game-ending run.

“I’m happy with the win, we’ll take it. But I’m not really excited about our performance,” OSU coach Travis Ford said. “I didn’t think we played with the intensity level that you need to play with (in conference).”

Ending a stretch of three straight games scoring just single digits, the Cowboys finally got Le’Bryan Nash back on track with 13 points — 9 of which came in the first half to give OSU a 36-22 lead at the break.

Also scoring in double digits for the Pokes was freshman point guard Marcus Smart with a 14 points — going 5 for 5 from the field — and junior guard Markel Brown, also with 14 to go with a game-high 5 assists.

Though OSU wasn’t quite on pace with their season average in scoring (71.4), the Cowboys were taking better looks, going 25 for 48 from the field (52.1 percent) — well above their season average of 44.2 percent. The problem for the Oklahoma State offense, however, was 24 turnovers — the most committed by the Cowboys this season.

“The first half we shot the ball well (61.9 percent), but didn’t reward ourselves because we turned it over too much,” Ford said. “I thought we should have expanded our lead a little bit more had we taken care of the basketball.”

Oklahoma State dominated the glass with 40 rebounds — a keeping TCU to just 17, including only two on the offensive glass.

OSU travels to Norman for a 2 p.m. Saturday contest with Oklahoma (10-3), riding a three-game win streak.



Central Missouri 77,

NSU 69


WARRENSBURG, Mo. — Central Missouri (9-3, 3-1 MIAA) built a 35-22 lead and held off the RiverHawks (10-3, 3-2), which lost their second in a row.

Bryton Hobbs led NSU and all scorers with 25 points. Jermaine Bransford had 19 points and 13 rebounds. Ethan Anderson had 14 points. For UCM, Lance Beckwith and Dominique Long had 17 points each and Widgett Washington had 15. The RiverHawks had 12 assists as well.

The game was tied at 11-all when the Mules went on a 16-2 run to open a 27-13 lead with 7:24 left in the half. The RiverHawks were able to close to within nine on a couple of occasions, before UCM scored the final four points of the half to lead 35-22 at the intermission.

Central Missouri pushed the lead to 15 in the first minute of the second half, their biggest lead of the game. The RiverHawks battled back though and closed to within nine points at the 14:28 mark. A pair of free throws from Charles Hammork pushed the lead back to 11, but NSU came right back with a 9-1 run, including a two baskets by Hobbs, to pull within 48-45 with 10:27 left in the game.

Northeastern State shot 26-of-52 for 50 percent from the floor and they were 5-of-13 from three-point range for 39 percent. NSU was 12-of-16 from the charity stripe for 75 percent.

“If we could have made one or two more plays, then realistically we would’ve had a chance to win the game,” NSU coach Larry Gipson said. “We can’t start games in this league like we have the last two and expect to win.”

NSU stays on the road through Saturday’s game at Bolivar, Mo., against Southwest Baptist. Tipoff is 3:30 p.m.



Marshall 79, Tulsa 61

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Elijah Pittman scored 19 points to lead three Marshall players in double figures as the Thundering Herd stormed by Tulsa 79-61 in their Conference USA opener.

D.D. Scarver and DeAndre Kane backed Pittman with 16 points each, with Kane adding seven assists, four rebounds and two steals. Dennis Tinnon added six points and 11 rebounds for Marshall (8-8).

Pittman hit a layup for a 7-6 lead about 4 minutes into the game, and Marshall scored the next 17 points for a 24-6 lead. Tulsa missed 12 field goals during the 8-plus minute run.

Shaquille Harrison and James Woodard scored 12 points each for Tulsa (9-7, 1-1), and Kauri Black had five of the Golden Hurricane’s 15 steals.



Texas A&M 69,

Arkansas 51


COLLEGE STATION, Texas  — Kourtney Roberson had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the first double-double of his career and Feylon Harris scored 17 points to lead the Aggies (11-3, 1-0 SEC), who took control with a 15-0 run that began late in the first half and extended into the second.

It was the first SEC game for A&M and its first conference game against the Razorbacks (9-5, 0-1) since 1991, when both schools belonged to the now-defunct Southwest Conference. B.J. Young had 13 points as Arkansas had a five-game winning streak snapped