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Bedlam basketball: Poor free-throw shooting costs Cowboys in loss to Oklahoma

The Cowboys made just 12-of-22 from the line. Forte and Brown, the team's top foul shooters, combined to go 8-of-14.
by John Helsley Published: February 15, 2014

With Marcus Smart sitting the second game of his three-game suspension, OSU's roster limitations came into full view. Oklahoma owned a 34-1 advantage in bench scoring. Reserve guard Frank Booker scored 15 and pumped in four 3-pointers, while Tyler Neal added 13 points and five rebounds off the bench.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys reserve trio of Christien Sager, Leyton Hammonds and Mason Cox combined to provide 24 minutes, one point and no rebounds.

Still — and this is what makes this loss so painful, and so potentially damaging mentally heading to Waco — OSU was in it late.

Led it late, 65-60, with 3:47 to play.

But with their margin for error shrunken to nearly zero, the Cowboys made just enough mistakes to lose.

The Sooners got hot, firing in three 3-pointers in the final three minutes to spark the rally. Conversely, the Cowboys didn't get stops.

And then there was the free throw regret.

“I don't know,” Forte said when asked for an explanation on the struggle from the line. “We usually make our free throws.

“It's something that we usually take a lot of pride in. That's something that I think help cost us this game.”

Fatigue may have been a factor, with Brown and Forte and the other starters playing more and more minutes as the rotation has dwindled with the loss of Michael Cobbins to injury, Stevie Clark to discipline issues and now Smart.

“It can (play a factor), I guess,” Ford said. “Shouldn't though. Shouldn't.”

And the Cowboys can't allow it to be a factor with six Big 12 games remaining and their postseason hopes continually drifting.

“I'm thinking about winning,” Brown said. “It's my last Bedlam, we're on a losing streak … just trying to do everything I can do to help this win.

“Fell a little short at the end. It hurts, it hurts.”