There was plenty of evidence to reveal OSU's joy in a stunning 85-80 win at No. 2 Kansas Saturday.
Cowboys coach Travis Ford, hugging his assistants, saying, “Oh my god!”
The game's dominant player, freshman Marcus Smart, doing back flips on the court at Allen Fieldhouse.
But by the time the Cowboys met the media, they had calmed considerably.
“They were excited,” Ford said. “But I told them, ‘It's a good win, but it's only a win. Baylor on Wednesday.'
“But they're excited. They're excited on any win.”
Except it wasn't just any win.
Still, Ford's got a point. No need to start feeling too good now, with a Baylor team that's already beaten the Cowboys coming into Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“That's one of the biggest wins of our season,” said OSU's Le'Bryan Nash. “It was a good win. But we're still starving for some more.”
FORTE HAD BEEN THERE BEFORE
Cowboys guard Phil Forte spent his younger years in Kansas, had been to plenty of KU games and was even recruited some by the Jayhawks.
But standing on the free-throw line, with OSU's biggest win in years on the line, the crowd at The Phog roaring … that was different.
“I was trying to block it out the best I could,” Forte said. “I've never been on the free-throw line and heard noise and felt pressure like that before.”
No worries, Forte made four critical foul shots in the final 30 seconds, crucial to helping OSU seal the deal.
“I tried to picture myself at Gallagher-Iba, shooting free throws after practice, and that's what I did,” Forte said.
“That's a shot I practice hundreds of times every day. I just stepped up there and did it like I have before.”
FORD PREFERRED NO FOUL LATE
With the Cowboys up by three, 83-80, and Kansas inbounding the ball under its own bucket with 7.9 seconds remaining, Ford had to decide on a final strategy.
Foul, and not allow the Jayhawks an attempt to tie it with a 3-pointer.
Or not foul, making the Jayhawks produce a tying 3.
With forwards Michael Cobbins and Le'Bryan Nash on the bench, having fouled out, and center Philip Jurick off the floor because of his struggles as a free-throw shooter, Ford preferred the latter approach.
“I didn't want to foul there,” he said. “We had our rebounders out of the game. So I told our guys, ‘We're going to switch everything, but if you get beat, then foul.' But I told them, ‘Let's D up, make them miss.'
“At home we might foul.”
Wednesday: Baylor, 6 p.m.
Saturday: at Texas, 12:45 p.m.
Feb. 13: at Texas Tech, 6 p.m.