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Quack Attack: Ducks End OSU's Season Yet Again

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OMAHA, Nebraska -

For the most part, the execution was there. The effort was definitely there. But for Oklahoma State, the ceiling just wasn't high enough this season.

The overachieving Cowboys saw their run come to an end on Friday night against Oregon, in the second round (round of 64) of the NCAA Tournament.

Three Cowboys played their final games in OSU orange. LSU transfer Anthony Hickey was one of them, and saved perhaps his best performance for last. Hickey scored 17 points and drained five 3-pointers, many of which kept the Cowboys' boat afloat.

Hickey's pair of 3s helped OSU explode on a 22-9 run midway through the first half. The Pokes turned a five-point deficit into an eight-point lead at 36-28. Oklahoma State was playing its best basketball of the season, but it didn't last long.

Oregon closed the half on a 15-3 run to take a 43-39 lead into the locker room.

Ducks' leading scorer Joseph Young scored back to back buckets early in the second to extend Oregon's lead to 50-42. But with the season perhaps slipping away, OSU answered once again. Tavarius Shine drained a pair of 3-pointers to lead the Pokes on an 18-6 run and to a 60-56 lead with 12:50 left to play. The spurt was filled with some of OSU's best effort and energy all season, and for the first time, it really felt like it could be OSU's night.

But, in a game of runs, Oregon came right back. The Ducks soared out on a 14-2 burst to take a 70-62 lead with 6:50 to go.

Oklahoma State quickly battled back to within a point, but it was the Pokes' last stand. They never got the lead back.

Another one of those seniors, and without a doubt the most impactful, was Le'Bryan Nash. Nash scored 18 points to go with seven rebounds in the final game of his decorated career. The third senior was defensive ace Michael Cobbins, who chipped in nine points and seven boards.

Young led the Ducks with 27 points. Elgin Young added 18 points while Dillon Brooks scored 17. 

OSU's season ends at 18-14, marking the first time in four seasons that the Pokes' haven't reached the 20-win mark. The opening-round loss is the latest blow for a Cowboy program that has now won just one NCAA Tournament game in the past decade.

The eighth-seeded Ducks (26-9) will likely move on to face No. 1 seed Wisconsin, barring a miraculous upset by the 16 seed Coastal Carolina.

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