NORMAN — With Keiton Page on fire again, Oklahoma State struck for its most points in a half this season.
Only problem, it followed the program's lowest-scoring half … of the Big 12 era.
The Cowboys managed but 12 points — one more than the program's all-time low — through the opening 20 minutes, when they made just 4 of 24 shots from the floor. And while Page heated up and the Cowboys eventually cut an 18-point deficit to three, they couldn't complete the climb, falling 77-64 at Lloyd Noble Center.
The twelve points, better only than the 11 scored against the Sooners in 1965, well, Page didn't see that coming, despite a history of personal and recent team shooting woes in Norman.
“No. No,” Page said.
Said Cowboys coach Travis Ford: “Everybody was 1-for-something in the first half. Every single one of them.”
At least those who made a field goal.
Page made just 1 of 8 shots in the first half. His teammates:
Le'Bryan Nash, 1 for 7.
Brian Williams, 1 for 5.
Markel Brown, 1 for 4.
And the Sooners led 30-12.
“Our intensity was low the first half,” Page said. “They were playing really good defense, took us out of our quick-hitters, our sets. They were denying entry passes. And our shots just weren't falling for us.”
They fell at a furious rate to start the second half.
By the 13:03 mark, the Cowboys had six 3-pointers and had cut the margin to three, 42-39.
“We thought we had a ballgame,” Page said. “We were executing our offense in the second half, driving and kicking, the 3-ball was open, guys were knocking it down.”
Then Page and Williams missed 3s to tie on back-to-back possessions. And soon OU was into a 9-0 run. And later the lead bloomed back to 20 at one point.
“We were back in it,” Ford said. “I knew it took a lot to get back there, though. When you fight back that hard, scoring as many points as we did quickly, and we were defending a little bit better … we missed two 3s to tie it.
“That doesn't hurt you as much as they scored when we didn't. That's what made your shoulders slump a little bit. And that took a lot out of us and it was downhill from there a little bit.”
In the end, the Cowboys fired up 31 shots from beyond the arc, their most this season. And while they hit on 13, it came at a cost, with only eight points coming in the paint, none in the first half.
“It was a rough night,” Williams said. “We made one 3, then people thought they could make the second one. That wasn't the case. We should have gotten the ball inside more.”
Ford, however, didn't seem bothered by the long-ball approach.
“That's human nature,” Ford said. “When you're trying to fight back into the game like that, and you have some guys who can make them shooting them, that's human nature. I wasn't overly upset with that.
“It was one of those things that were working. We need to get more points in the paint, no question, but that's kind of the way the game was going. It was working for us pretty good.”
Page never stopped firing and eventually started making.
All nine of Page's made field goals were 3s, on 17 attempts, with both numbers ranking No. 2 in OSU history.
Of course, eight of Page's 3-pointers came in the second half.
“Is that what he had?” Ford responded when someone mentioned Page's flurry. “Yeah, that's pretty good.”
Only problem, it followed OSU's first half.