Among Oklahoma State's concerns going to West Virginia for the first time: a fear of the unknown.
“This was unchartered territory,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford. “Nobody on our team had been here before. You could sense it coming here, guys were like, ‘What's this all about?' Didn't know what to expect.
“So there was a lot of anxiety going into this game.”
West Virginia had been 128-32 against teams making their first trip to WVU Coliseum before Saturday. And Saturday's crowd was lively and ready, hopeful of an upset, especially when OSU lost star guard Marcus Smart to foul trouble early.
Ford, however, said he felt like the situation my have flipped in his team's favor, serving as a sort of wake-up call.
“The way we started was like a nightmare,” Ford said. “But sometimes you've got to get guys' attention. And they got our attention real quick.
“Not that you ever want Marcus Smart to get in foul trouble, but I think it made everybody go, ‘Uh oh, we all better raise our game.' Once we got a little fire in our belly, we responded.”
FORD REACHES MILESTONE
Saturday's win in Morgantown put Ford at an OSU milestone mark: his 100th win as Cowboys coach.
In his fifth season at OSU, Ford is now 100-61.
Overall, he's 223-176 as a Division I head coach.
Wednesday: at TCU, 6 p.m.
Saturday: Texas, 3 p.m.
March 6: at Iowa State, 6 p.m.
SMART EXPERIENCES UNWANTED FIRST
When Smart picked up his third foul at the 2:34 mark of the opening half, he had no reference point on how to proceed from there.
His last time to pick up three fouls so quick, or even close to that quick?
“Never in my life,” he said. “They say there's a first time for everything. There it was. Let's hope it never happens to me again.
“Very frustrating for me and my team, but we had a lot of guys contribute in a lot of ways. Guys stepped up for us.”