“And it takes me out of position to help score. That was a big issue for us.”
It was hardly the only issue.
The Cowboys struggled from the outset, falling behind 7-0, 21-10 and 32-18 in the first half, before trimming the margin to nine, 38-29, at intermission.
“They were in a higher gear than we were,” said OSU forward Michael Cobbins.
The Cowboys surrendered 15 turnovers and shot just 39.3 percent overall for the game and missed all nine 3-point tries in the second half, while the Sooners were going 5-for-9 from the arc, firing in responses after OSU made a run to pull close at 52-50 with 9:34 to play.
OU's Steven Pledger drilled a 3, then made three free throws when he was fouled shooting a 3. Buddy Hield fired in a 3. Even M'Baye made a 3 — his first as a Sooner — all but stamping out the Cowboys' fire.
“We didn't expect them to make that many 3s,” Brown said. “We didn't expect certain players who made 3s to make them. They hurt us.”
Not having a full dose of Smart hurt, too.
“Mentally, psychologically, when he goes out, it puts a little pressure on everybody else,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford.
The pressure is back on the Pokes, who fell to 11-4 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12, losing another road game — three of their four losses have come away from home — and a ninth straight in the series in Norman.
“Unfortunately, some things just didn't go my way tonight,” Smart said. “Didn't go our way. Some games are just going to be like that.
“You just have to come back and work harder.”