Jeffrey Carroll and Kendall Smith combined for 40 points and Oklahoma State scored a season-high 102 to close out the non-conference schedule with a 19-point win over UT-Rio Grande Valley on Friday afternoon.
Tavarius Shine chipped in 12 points and Mitchell Solomon added 11 points and eight rebounds in just 14 minutes as Mike Boynton used an even, 10-man rotation against the high-pressure, up-tempo Vaqueros. Boynton used the game to try out several new lineups, including a “Big Cowboy” lineup featuring Lindy Waters III, Shine and Carroll, all listed at 6-foot-6, plus seven-footers Yankuba Sima and Lucas N’Guessan.
The Cowboys (10-2) shot 85 percent (29-of-34) from the charity stripe. That was in stark contrast to Tuesday night’s win against Tulsa where they attempted just one free throw.
N’Guessan, who hadn’t seen a minute on the floor in either of the past two games, played 18 minutes against the Vaqueros and scored seven points. He helped spark a 15-2 run that opened up the game for the Cowboys in the first half.
OSU trailed 16-15 with 11:28 left in the first half but outscored Rio Grande Valley 38-18 to lead 53-34 at halftime.
Xavier McDaniel Jr. led the way for the Vaqueros with 17 points and Nick Dixon added 14. Rio Grande Valley fell to 6-8 on the year.
The Pokes get a week off before hosting No. 10 West Virginia in the Big 12 opener on Dec. 29.