Oklahoma State boasts three of the Big 12's top eight scorers.
Marcus Smart, Le'Bryan Nash and Markel Brown make up the only trio in the league all averaging double figures.
But in the first half of Friday's 68-57 loss to Kansas State, two of those three were held scoreless. Nash (averaging 14.2 points) went 0-of-2 from the field, and Brown (averaging 15.5 points) didn't even get off a shot.
And much of that was due to foul trouble. Brown had two in the first three minutes and sat for the rest of the half. Nash was limited to 11 minutes after he picked up his second.
“We left Marcus hanging out there,” Brown said. “That's something we can't do. We gotta be on the court to keep our offense going, offense and defense. We just gotta shake back from that one and move on to the next game.”
“It felt really bad,” Nash added. “Because now I can't help my team contribute because I got stupid fouls. And it really got me out of sync.”
Troubles with McGruder
The Cowboys have been susceptible to big performances this season, but no one has stung them as proficiently and consistently as Rodney McGruder.
Kansas State's star two-guard put up 25 points and nine rebounds on Friday, including a personal 9-2 run to start the second half, where he hit a shot on the first four Wildcat possessions.
And that was typical of McGruder against OSU this year. He lit the Cowboys up for 28 back in January and put up 22 in losing effort last Saturday in Stillwater.
“Tonight we gave him some in transition in the second half, which is — it's easy to score in transition,” Travis Ford said. “But he earned some of them tonight. He made some really tough shots.”
Cobbins injures shoulder
Early in the first half, Michael Cobbins went up for a rebound in traffic and came down holding his right shoulder.
It briefly forced him to the bench, where he received treatment before returning. And in the postgame locker room, Cobbins had it wrapped in ice.
“Just got pinched back behind me and slipped out a little bit,” Cobbins said. “I got it popped back in, but it's a little sore right now. Not the first time I've had this injury, but the first time I had it on this shoulder.”
Cobbins said he should be good to go for the NCAA Tournament next weekend.
Last season, Nash sat in a disheartened Kansas City locker room, wrist in a cast, talking about the end of OSU's season.
“There's a bad vibe in here,” Nash said in that same locker room on Friday night.
Bad vibe, maybe, but a bit better feeling this time around.
That's because the Cowboys season isn't over. They're heading home tomorrow morning and gearing up for Selection Sunday, where they are expected to land a top-5 NCAA tourney seed.
“I hope we get put in the South region, to tell you the truth,” said Nash, a Dallas native.
*OSU's bench went 4-of-21 from the field.
*Marcus Smart already holds the single-season Big 12 freshman steals record with 94. Now he's going for the overall record, which stands at 102. He'll need nine thefts in the NCAA Tournament to break it.
*Phil Forte's two 3-pointers gave him 67 on the season, tying him with James Anderson for an OSU freshman record.
*OSU lost for just the fourth time this season when holding an opponent under 70 points (19-3 previously).