No. 15 Cowboys corral Kabongo, beat Texas 78-65

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 2, 2013 at 7:26 pm •  Published: March 2, 2013
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STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — In preparing his Oklahoma State team to face Texas, coach Travis Ford focused so much on stopping Myck Kabongo that he worried Saturday that he might have been too dismissive of how good his teammates were, too.

It turned out his emphasis on Kabongo was the farthest thing from overkill.

Markel Brown scored 18 points, Le'Bryan Nash added 16 and the 15th-ranked Cowboys corralled Kabongo to beat Texas 78-65.

A showcase of two of the Big 12's marquee point guards ended up being a sloppy one, with Kabongo committing a career-high seven turnovers while the Cowboys' Marcus Smart had five.

"We put a big emphasis on slowing him down," Ford said. "Their last five games that he's played in, that ball's been in his hands 90 percent of the time. We thought he was a pretty big key to their team."

Oklahoma State (22-6, 12-4 Big 12) took advantage of two of Kabongo's turnovers to score the final eight points of the first half and start an 18-2 run that carried beyond halftime. By the time it was over, the Cowboys were firmly in front at 47-33 after Nash drove through traffic for a right-handed slam.

Texas (13-16, 5-11) never got within 10 points after that.

In the first 16 minutes, Smart didn't score and committed all five of his turnovers. He played a clean game after that, ending up with 11 points, four steals and three assists.

"You can always count on him coming back and doing something positive," Ford said. "His stat line is always amazing. He always ends up with great stats. ... It doesn't overly concern me because I know we're going to get something out of him. But when he's locked in from the beginning, it obviously makes our team that much better."

The Cowboys sent two defenders at Kabongo at every chance, forcing him into mistakes or simply getting the ball out of the hands of Texas' top scorer. The Longhorns had won three of five after Kabongo returned from a 23-game NCAA suspension, and he had a career-best 31 points in the win against Oklahoma in his last game.

Kabongo ended up with a season-low seven points and eight assists, missing five of his seven shots.

"I don't know why Myck wasn't doing the things we asked him to do," coach Rick Barnes said. "We knew that would happen. We had three guys out there that played the point, four really.

"I think Myck got caught up in it a little bit, trying to do it too much by himself."



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