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Oklahoma State may have to win ugly

by John Helsley Modified: January 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm •  Published: January 9, 2011

Maybe it's time to come to grips with the cosmetic appeal of this Cowboys basketball team.

Ugly, they win.

Key words: they win.

It's a scuffling bunch that rarely gets easy points — even from the foul line — and labors for everything they get. And it can be painful to watch. Sexy they're not.

Unless you're turned on by toughness, which these Cowboys appear to have in excess.

And that, folks, is a valuable trait.

During the nonconference portion of the schedule, we groaned about the way OSU had to rally late to dispose of the likes of so many substandard foes from the Southland Conference and elsewhere.

But when they did it again Saturday to No. 17-ranked Kansas State, grinding down the Wildcats in the final nine minutes, fouling out four K-State big men in a post-play showdown, it was to be celebrated.

Ugly win.

Beautiful result, staking the Cowboys to a 1-0 start in the Big 12 schedule.

“When our back was against the wall against a really good basketball team, probably the best team we've played so far,” OSU coach Travis Ford said, “we responded. I saw that.”

Now, Ford doesn't want to see it every night.

Such stress is rough on fans and coaches and their fingernails and sanity.

And Ford knows it.

“Our team throughout these first 15 games, whoever it was against, whether it was Houston Baptist or Central Arkansas or a DePaul or Kansas State, we've responded when things get tough,” Ford said. “That's a dangerous way to live.

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