When you’re a team riddled with injuries and playing against No 21 Iowa State in one of the best atmospheres in the nation, it’s hard to stay competitive for 40 minutes. That’s the problem Oklahoma State ran into on Monday night as they lost 58-50 to the Cyclones.
"I'm so proud of our team's effort. We've got an exhausted team in our locker room. We didn't play great, but I told them that we did every single thing wanted to do but the one thing that we can't necessarily control is making shots," OSU coach Travis Ford said. "Our defense was really good. We came back in the second half rebounding the basketball. We just weren't rewarded with shots going down. To hold Iowa State to 58 points, I'm so proud of them."
The Cowboys (12-18,3-14) played aggressive basketball throughout the first half, and really made Iowa State work for everything they got during the first 20 minutes as OSU only trailed 27-25 at halftime.
It was after intermission where the Pokes really struggled to get going offensively. Iowa State came out of the gates on a tear and basically put away the game in front of a sold out arena on Senior Night. The Cyclones opened the half on a 13-to-1 run and held the Cowboys scoreless until the 14:56 mark with ISU already bolstering a 13-point lead.
OSU was still within striking distance, but ISU forward Abdel Nader elevated for an and-1 dunk over Mitchell Solomon that completely blew the roof off of Hilton Coliseum and had the Iowa State bench falling over themselves with excitement.
Despite getting up by as many as sixteen, the Cowboys fought back to make it a six-point game with just over two minutes left, but the Cyclones were able to make enough free throws down the stretch to put it away.
"I'm proud of our team's effort despite being so shorthanded tonight. For the guys that laced up, I'm proud of them," Ford said. "I'm disappointed in the loss, but the one thing you can't control is making shots sometimes, that's the only thing we didn't do well."
Nader led ISU with 19 points while Georges Niang added 17 points and 10 rebounds in their final home games.
Joe Burton, Tavarius Shine and Jeff Newberry each scored nine points in the loss while Chris Olivier added eight points in his first start of the season.The Cowboys have now lost five straight games.
OSU will be back in action on Friday when they host Texas.