The Oklahoma State offense arrived in style Sunday afternoon, producing a season-high in points during an impressive 81-58 blowout of Portland State.
But the Cowboys' defense has consistently been there, stifling opponents throughout their five-game win streak to start the season.
Overall, OSU is holding opponents to 57.8 points per game on 34.5 percent shooting (11th best in the nation).
“That's (our identity), that's who we want to be,” OSU coach Travis Ford said. “That's who we should be. Percentages and points allowed are goals we're trying to reach.”
The Cowboys have held four straight opponents under 40 percent shooting and three straight opponents under 60 points, both impressive marks.
But despite that, the perfectionist in Ford wasn't happy with the 58 points and 39.6 percent they gave up to Portland State on Sunday.
“I wasn't real happy with our defense in the second half,” he said. “We really could have set a tone and met some goals for ourselves, but the three-point percentages were a little higher than what we want.”
After a recent string of gut-punching injury news, OSU received a pair of promising diagnoses this week.
Michael Cobbins, the Cowboys' starting center who missed the first five games with a fractured toe, should return to practice this week.
And Marek Soucek, one of Cobbins' primary post backups, shouldn't be far behind, recovering from a knee sprain that isn't as severe as originally feared.
“We don't have a post sub. We've been playing without a post sub,” Ford said. “Our two subs (Phil Forte and Kirby Gardner) are 5-(foot)-11 … We've played well to this point, but we've got to get some guys back.”
OSU went 10-13 from the line Sunday and is now an impressive 95-120 (79.2 percent) from there this year. … Le'Bryan Nash has scored at least 16 points and grabbed five rebounds in every game. He had 20 and five on Sunday. … Marcus Smart's nine assists were the third-most ever by a Cowboy freshman. … In the Ford era, OSU is 26-2 when shooting better than 50 percent and 33-4 when scoring 80 points.
After another week off, the Cowboys travel to Virginia Tech for a nonconference matchup next Sunday against a Hokie team that beat OSU twice last year. The game tips at 1 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3.com.