COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The postgame scenario from Oklahoma State's 76-61 loss at Texas A&M featured split news conferences.
And a suddenly split personality.
Cowboys coach Travis Ford had kept his cool, despite the disappointment of a major missed opportunity, until being informed of words used by his players who had gone before him in the interview room.
That's how Markel Brown and Brian Williams described their team's play, despite being in search of the program's first Big 12 road win since 2010, a span of 14 games.
This team, now 10-11 overall and 3-5 in the conference, nonchalant? What, from posting one notable win, Wednesday's upset of No. 2 Missouri?
“That's unfortunate. A player can never say that,” Ford said, his mood quickly changing. “If they're saying that, you're not going to win many games.”
The Cowboys haven't won any Big 12 road games since James Anderson and Obi Muonelo were still around to carry a swagger into enemy arenas. None last year. And none this season, with OSU falling to 0-4 in conference away games.
And this was a game to be had, with A&M down two key players due to injury and Reed Arena so quiet you could hear Ford clearly calling out plays.
Until, that is, the Cowboys casually allowed the Aggies to get excited, failing to announce themselves ready to rip away a road win, instead standing by as A&M rallied from what had been a seven-point deficit in the first half to what became another roadkill finish for OSU.
So much for momentum off Mizzou.
“Just being nonchalant on the court,” Brown said. “Being casual, making casual passes and turning it over and them going to the other end and scoring easy baskets.”
Logic suggested Wednesday's win might play as some kind of breakthrough. And while the Cowboys were dealing with the loss of center and leading rebounder Philip Jurick to a foot injury, the Aggies were without Khris Middleton and Dash Harris, two of their most talented and most experienced players.
“I would have thought so, too,” Brown said, “but we went out there casual and they took advantage of it.”
Echoed Williams: “I think we came out a little too casual. And we were too casual until it was too late.
“I think we had guys still riding momentum from the Missouri game. We should have let that go and prepared for this one.”
Those words, enough to send Ford back to the locker room after his postgame media chat, looking to deliver another extremely loud and incredibly close piece of his mind, thwarted only when he learned half the team was already on the bus.
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.”