STILLWATER – The Cowboys find themselves in a mid-season crisis.
Trace it to a series of mid-game crises.
Texas outscored Oklahoma State 14-0 over a four-minute stretch spanning the two halves Wednesday night and rolled to a 61-46 men's basketball win, dropping the Cowboys to 2-4 in the Big 12.
Before an emotional near-capacity crowd on a “Remember the 10” occasion at Gallagher-Iba Arena, most every offensive trip required major labor for the Cowboys.
The result: a 19-point second half and a 46 total that ranks as OSU's fewest at home since 2007.
And the mid-game meltdown was nothing new.
Losing four of their last five, the Cowboys have repeatedly struggled during the minutes connecting the two halves. In four of the games – including losses to Texas A&M, Baylor and now No. 7-ranked Texas – they've been outscored 57-8 during those key stretches.
Against the Longhorns, who improved to 17-3 overall and 5-0 in the league, the game was tied 27-27, when Texas scored the final seven points of the first half during a 1:39 span to surge ahead 34-27. When the Horns opened the second half on another 7-0 run, it was 41-27.
“That's just mental toughness,” said Cowboys forward Marshall Moses. “We've got to be able to play hard for 40 minutes. When teams start going on scoring spurts, especially good teams, you've got to bow up. And you've got to score back or get stops. We hope it's both.”
It was neither Wednesday night.
Offensively, the numbers were ugly.
The Cowboys shot just 32.1 percent from the floor and made but 1-of-11 shots from the 3-point line.