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Oklahoma State basketball: Missouri was a surprisingly favorable matchup for Cowboys

OSU BASKETBALL — A lot needed to go right for Oklahoma State's men's basketball team to upset No. 2 Missouri on Wednesday night. The Cowboys needed to have a good night shooting and for their freshmen to contribute. But even needing all that, it was a matchup that favored the Cowboys.
BY JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Modified: January 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm •  Published: January 26, 2012

/articleid/3643722/1/pictures/1621483">Photo - Oklahoma State's Le'Bryan Nash (2) celebrates during an NCAA college basketball game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Missouri Tigers (MU) at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Le'Bryan Nash (2) celebrates during an NCAA college basketball game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Missouri Tigers (MU) at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

“Size-wise, the matchups weren't bad,” Ford said. “We weren't overly concerned about matchups, other than speed. They've got good speed.”

The Cowboys neutralized that speed, while winning the battle of the boards 32-31.

And down the stretch, they made the plays, rallying from what was an eight-point deficit in the second half.

Sure, the Tigers were probably due a letdown, playing a second straight Big 12 road game and coming off an emotional win at Baylor on Saturday.

Still, the Cowboys had to make it happen.

“Everybody came to play tonight,” said Williams, who scored a career-high 22 points. “Everybody played hard. We've been preparing for the last couple days, and the vibe's been a little different than usual, so I felt (really) good about coming into this game.”

Why the different vibe, entering Wednesday's game as an 8 1/2-point underdog on a three-game losing streak?

“I just want to say everybody's level of focus,” Williams said. “I haven't seen it like this yet, from watching film and actually going out there and simulating what they do, everybody was just real focused in.”

Senior Keiton Page started setting up comparisons to OSU's 2010 upset of No. 1 Kansas early in the week. The only Cowboy who played in that game, Page told teammates about how fun it was, pulling it off and celebrating with fans on the floor.

Afterward, how does it compare?

“It's close. This is close,” Page said. “I don't know. I'm gonna have to sleep on it. This one felt good. This felt real good.”


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