Oklahoma State got a 69-52 win against Towson in the first round of the Charleston Classic, but it came at a cost.
Leading scorer Phil Forte dove for a loose ball midway through the first half and a Towson player landed on top of his left side. Forte hyper-extended his left elbow and came up grimacing before quickly being ushered into the locker room by training staff. Forte tried to return at the start of the second half sporting a heavily-wrapped left arm but due to immobility or discomfort the senior was pulled after one possession and didn’t return.
Already playing without starting forward Leyton Hammonds - who stayed in Stillwater battling a case of pneumonia - Travis Ford also lost guard Jeff Newberry for the latter part of Thursday’s game after a hard fall. Newberry was tended to but appeared to be unscathed later on the bench.
Injuries aside, transfer post Chis Olivier was bright spot scoring 18 points. The senior has scored in double figures every game this season.
Sophomore swingman Jeffrey Carroll came in for Newberry and scored a career-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting off the bench, all in the second half.
“One thing we talk about quite a bit, you have so many guys that might not be playing the minutes they want right now but you remind everyone that 'you're going to get an opportunity. At some point your time is gonna come so be ready,'” Ford said after the game. “Jeffrey Carroll saw it today. Through injuries and everything else, it was his time to step up and he did in a very high fashion. Very efficient.”
Senior Anthony Allen got the start at center and came through with 3 points, 6 rebounds and a career-best 6 blocks.
Five-star freshman point guard Jawun Evans struggled mightily in his first start going 0-for-5 from the field and racking up four fouls. He dished out four assists, tied for the team lead with Tyree Griffin.
Oklahoma State (3-0) held Towson (1-2) scoreless for the first 5:35 of the game and the Tigers ended up shooting just 25 percent for the game. Towson grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Cowboys 43-37.
Wake Forest transfer William Adala Moto led Towson in scoring with 14 and sophomore Mike Mosell chipped in with 11.
The Cowboys advance to face George Mason (1-2) at 1:00 p.m. on Friday in the Charleston Classic semifinals.
Towson heads to the loser’s bracket to play Ole Miss.