OSU basketball Cowboys, Keiton Page struggle against Kansas State

Keiton Page struggled, and so did the Cowboys in a 66-58 loss.
BY John Helsley Staff Writer jhelsley@opubco.com Modified: January 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm •  Published: January 21, 2012

“Everybody’s game plan is to stop Keiton Page and bear-hug him,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford, who clearly didn’t care for how the game was officiated. “That’s what they do, they bear-hug him. He comes off screens and they bump into him.

“I’ve got friends in this league. We talk. ‘Be physical with Keiton Page.’ Everybody talks about it. I know what they’re doing. I guess you can’t call them all. But c’mon, if anyone deserves it, the kid deserves it.”

It was a game that begged for other Cowboys to ride to Page’s rescue. Instead, no other player made more than three baskets.

Le’Bryan Nash, OSU’s second-leading scorer, managed just four points and four shots. Markel Brown had 14 points, but on 3-of-9 shooting.

During one ugly 15-minute stretch – from the 4-minute mark of the first half until 8:59 remained in the game – the Cowboys didn’t make a field goal.

“When (Page) has a tough day, we’ve got to get everybody else stepping up,” said Brian Williams, who had nine points. “If he’s having a good day, we’ll keep feeding him.

“Nights like tonight, they happen. We’ve just got to go back the drawing board and work on our Plan Bs more.”

K-State’s plan went awry, too.

After a hot start, the ’Cats cooled considerably, shooting just 30.8 percent in the second half. Missing free throws, too, they allowed the Cowboys to hang around late, before a final spurt put the game away.

“When you get that close to a ranked team, you’ve got to hold on to it and keep pressing, fighting,” said freshman forward Michael Cobbins. “We were right there.

“We let this one slip.”

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