Oklahoma State: Memphis gets another shot at Cowboys

OSU to face Tigers in Old Spice Classic championship game on Sunday night at Disney World.
by John Helsley Published: November 30, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma State's Markel Brown (22) reaches for the ball beside Memphis' Michael Dixon Jr. (11) during an NCAA college basketball game between Oklahoma State and Memphis at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Markel Brown (22) reaches for the ball beside Memphis' Michael Dixon Jr. (11) during an NCAA college basketball game between Oklahoma State and Memphis at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma State gets what it wanted, a shot at the Old Spice Classic championship.

Memphis gets what it wanted, another shot at the No. 5-ranked Cowboys, who hammered the Tigers before a large national television audience less than two weeks ago.

So once again, wants and wills clash.

Tip time is 6:30 p.m. Sunday inside HP Field House on the Disney World campus in Kissimmee, Fla.

While both teams targeted the tournament title game, the Tigers also targeted a rematch with OSU, after being overwhelmed by Marcus Smart and the Cowboys from the outset in Stillwater on Nov. 19.

OSU won in a rout, 101-80, and it wasn't that close, with the Cowboys leading by 26 at the half and by as much as 34 in what was billed as a major showdown of programs seeking early national contender confirmation.

The Cowboys raised their profile; the Tigers took a hit to their perception and their pride.

“Of course we were embarrassed,” Memphis guard Joe Jackson told reporters. “Letting somebody score points on us like that was embarrassing.

“But we've course-corrected quickly.”

Since that rugged night at Gallagher-Iba Arena, the Tigers have responded, winning three straight to improve to improve to 4-1. In the tournament, they've beaten Siena and LSU to get to this point, which offers a unique opportunity at a mulligan.

And it's an opportunity Memphis has coveted, even before they arrived in Florida.

“Absolutely, can't wait for it,” guard Michael Dixon Jr. told USA Today.

The wait is over.

The Cowboys are ready for the rematch, too, but they have struggled a bit in the tournament. OSU jumped out to big leads in both of its first two games, only to let both Purdue and Butler make runs in the second half.

“We're not paying attention to detail as much as we are in the first half,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford told the Orlando Sentinel. “I think our guys get in the mode a little bit that it's automatically going to happen, that we're automatically going to win by 20 or 30 because we've done it in the past … against good teams like Purdue and Butler, these teams have a lot of fight to them. They're not just going to lay over.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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