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Oklahoma State basketball: Cowboys' win streak — in spirit — started with a loss to OU

OSU captain Markel Brown: “After we lost that game, we went back, had some early morning practices. And we looked at ourselves in the mirror. We knew we were better than that.”
by John Helsley Published: February 17, 2013

“This team does a good job of embracing what we give them.”

Ever since, the Cowboys have carried the fight, with Saturday's 84-79 overtime win in the Bedlam rematch the latest example. Even in their last loss, at Baylor on Jan. 21, the Pokes played the aggressor. It wasn't their approach that sunk them in Waco, but poor shooting.

By the time No. 14 Kansas arrives for Wednesday's showdown of Big 12 frontrunners in Gallagher-Iba Arena, it'll have been nearly a month since the Cowboys last lost.

Before the streak, OSU stood 2-3 in the Big 12 and 12-5 overall, a hard-to-define squad searching for a breakthrough, still winless on the conference road.

Now, look back at any game in the streak and you can find snapshots of their renewed approach.

Providing the opening punch at Kansas, then closing with knockout blows at crunch time.

Seizing wins late with more clutch character against Iowa State and Baylor and now OU.

And the once harped-on road woes? Dismissed and replaced with a three-game road win streak, two of them romps.

It hasn't always been easy or pretty, but consistently gritty. OSU's string of wins has been marked by a renewed toughness — physical and mental — especially late in tight games when the verdict was teetering.

Now when the Cowboys look in the mirror, there's much more to like.

“This is a pretty good team and a hard-working team,” Brown said. “We've worked hard for where we are now. And it's coming together for us.”