COLUMBIA, Mo. — Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford jokingly wondered midweek whether a winter blast might prevent a trip to Missouri. The Cowboys couldn’t be so lucky.
OSU escaped winter’s grasp at home, only to wilt under a fiery barrage of pressure and perimeter shooting by the Tigers, falling 95-80 Saturday at Mizzou Arena. The Cowboys continuously found themselves working back from big deficits, only to be turned away, with two numbers telling it all: 24 turnovers and 17 Tiger 3-pointers. "Plain and simple, give Missouri credit,” Ford said. "Those two stats say it all.” OSU’s Friday went from getaway day to long day, when snow and ice drastically altered travel plans. The trip turned worse on Saturday, when the Cowboys led only at 2-0, before establishing season-worst totals for turnovers, 3-pointers allowed and points allowed. Missouri posted a season-best for overall shooting percentage (52.3) and scored 17 points more than its season average. The Tigers were actually better from long range, making 17-of-31 shots beyond the arc – 54.8 percent. "They were stroking it from the 3 (line) all day,” said OSU guard James Anderson. "They had a good day. It was their day to shoot the ball. It wasn’t ours.” The Cowboys saw their three-game winning streak snapped, falling to 16-5 overall, 4-3 in the Big 12. Mizzou moved to 16-5 and 4-2, extending its homecourt winning streak to 32 games. For the third straight contest, Cowboys starting point guard Ray Penn did not play, resting his painful knee instead. For the first time, his absence proved critical. Fred Gulley and Keiton Page, manning the point, combined for twice as many turnovers (6) as assists (3) and almost as many points (7). "We’ve been able to plug that hole with some gum a little bit,” Ford said. "And if finally popped on us. "There’s no denying, our point guards didn’t play very well. When we have to have Obi Muonelo bring the ball up the court… that wasn’t the scenario we were looking for.