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OSU basketball: Empty seats don't help Cowboys' journey through rough waters

No one in the basketball program bought into a career at OSU with any idea the fan base would bail on them, unable to fill Gallagher-Iba Arena, not even for Bedlam.
by John Helsley Published: February 16, 2014

Five times in Big 12 play, enemy arenas have sold out for OSU.

Kansas, Kansas State, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas Tech all enjoyed capacity crowds with the Cowboys in town. Kansas sells out regularly (one reason it has Bill Self and OSU doesn't?). K-State occasionally plays to a full house. And West Virginia, OU and Tech have filled up but once — for OSU.

In Norman it was a whiteout. In Lubbock a blackout.

For OSU.

Don't think the Cowboys haven't noticed.

“All we have is each other right now,” said sophomore guard Phil Forte, one of the Big 12's hardest workers who has two years remaining at OSU. “Everyone is against us.

“We just have to stay close as a group.”

Brown's voice cracked at one point in the postgame press conference Saturday. He'd exhausted himself trying to end a losing streak that stretched to six games. And he still showed a resolve that has hardly been reflected in the empty seats of Gallagher-Iba, insisting still that this season can be salvaged.

“Most definitely,” Brown said, almost in defiance. “We got a lot of time. We got a lot of games. All we got to do is pick off a couple, make a run. Still got a lot of time and going on the road to Baylor, a very winnable game.

“Just go out there and play with our pride, play with our heart, give it all we got.”

But then, that defines Markel Brown, who has averaged 40.4 minutes over OSU's last seven games, a number made possible by a 54-minute outing in the triple-overtime loss to Iowa State.

Always pushing. Always believing. Always competing.

Even in tough times.

Like these.