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OSU basketball: Cowboys fall to Missouri in Big 12 Tournament

by John Helsley Published: March 8, 2012

— Keiton Page didn't want it to end.

Not like this, especially.

Not on the wrong end of a blowout, with a complete absence of drama over the game's final 35 minutes, the way Thursday night's exit from Big 12 Tournament played out at the Sprint Center.

Missouri 88, Oklahoma State 70.

And not even Page, who had been willing every last point from his Pawnee Pistol persona during his career's final weeks, could do anything about it.

Page gave the Cowboys 22 points and urged the young teammates he's been shepherding along for more. Anything more just wasn't there, not when it still mattered.

“When you let Missouri play to their strength, there's not many teams better in the country,” said OSU coach Travis Ford. “There's not.

“When they're playing their best, then can beat anybody really at their best, I believe. They're that good. And when they're on a roll and you give them confidence early, they're as good as it gets.”

And the Cowboys helped spike Mizzou's confidence, turning the ball over carelessly to surrender frequent fast-break points while making just 9 of 25 shots from the floor.

The Tigers, the tournament's No. 2 seed and the nation's No. 7 squad, led 16-6 barely five minutes into the game, 30-9 a short time later and 49-24 at the half. Just like that, they were finished.

And now the season is finished, at 15-18, the program's first losing record since 1987-88, when Leonard Hamilton's second team ended 14-16.

On the bright side, the Cowboys lose just one player from this team and will welcome back four former starters from injury and redshirt, as well as bring in a recruiting class led by McDonald's All-American Marcus Smart.

Trouble is, the player their losing is Page, who peeled off his OSU uniform for the final time Thursday night, finishing as the Cowboys No. 7 all-time scorer and the school's career leader in 3-pointers and minutes played.

Continue reading this story on the...

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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