The Cowboys actually started strong against the Aggies, surging to a 23-16 lead at the 9:10 mark of the opening half and taking any energy out of Reed Arena. But they followed that with seven turnovers over their next nine trips down the floor.
“When you're on the road, you've got to make that punch,” Ford said. “You've got to be the attacker and the aggressor. You've got to try to get that double-digit lead. We never could get there and just let A&M hang around.”
At the half, A&M led 30-29. The Aggies owned a double-digit lead barely seven minutes into the final 20 minutes.
Brown and Williams were the bright spots for OSU, scoring a combined 33 points. And to be fair, they were probably just echoing Ford's locker-room complaints. They just weren't words meant to share.
The problem for the Cowboys was familiar: the on-again, off-again performance of Le'Bryan Nash and the streaky shooting of Keiton Page.
Nash, after carrying OSU over the Tigers with 27 points, slipped to 13 against the Aggies on 5-of-15 shooting, and committed four turnovers. Page, pressured on the perimeter, suffered through a 2-of-13 shooting day.
A&M had players respond to their injury woes, with walk-on Alex Baird playing a career-high 21 minutes off the bench at point guard and handing out three assists. Little-used reserves Daniel Alexander and Zach Kingsley combined for 19 points.
The official stats show the Aggies owning a 25-19 edge in bench scoring, but only because Brown didn't start for OSU as punishment for his ejection from Wednesday's game. And Brown accounted for all 19 points, with Cezar Guerrero and Marek Soucek contributing only two rebounds, five fouls and two turnovers.
“They were kind of like us the other night, kind of desperate for a win,” Ford said. “Their guys played really well, played to win. They had a lot of hunger and fight to them. Give their kids all the credit.
“It's more than I anything I can say about our team, other than we didn't play very well.”Saturday's box score: Texas A&M 76, OSU 61