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OSU basketball notebook: Road a ruin for some Cowboys

By John Helsley, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Modified: February 13, 2011 at 5:38 pm •  Published: February 13, 2011

The Cowboys' road struggles could be the undoing of their NCAA Tournament hopes.

Winless in five road tries in the Big 12, OSU needs at least one victory outside of Gallagher-Iba Arena to counterbalance a home loss to Texas.

And the Pokes have but three road games remaining, including visits to No. 2 Kansas and No. 3 Texas. The only remaining road game that looks winnable: at Oklahoma in the regular-season finale.

At the root of OSU's struggles away from home: drastic home/road splits by key players.

“We have some guys the road hasn't been kind to,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford.

One guy in particular: Jéan-Paul Olukemi.

OSU's leading scorer in Big 12 play, Olukemi averages 20 points per game against league foes inside Gallagher-Iba Arena, but eight on the road. He had six points on 2-of-9 shooting at Nebraska.

UP NEXT: AT TEXAS

The Pokes go back on the road Wednesday and the assignment couldn't be tougher: at No. 3 — and rising — Texas.

The Longhorns, who have already beaten OSU in Stillwater, are unbeaten in Big 12 play at 10-0.

Ford hopes the Cowboys embrace the opportunity.

“Every game we've got left is a tough game,” Ford said. “Every one of them. It's either a highly ranked team or a team that's already beat us or something like that. That's what you want. I'm excited about that.

“I told them they need to be excited about the opportunity to go to Texas, what a great challenge that is. What an incredible opportunity and challenge it is. That's what it's about.”


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