“He kicked us out of practice,” said Cowboys senior Marshall Moses. “We had to go back in there and jump around and show him we were ready to practice and that it was a fluke.
“We probably practiced for about 20 minutes after that. And we looked good.”
The Cowboys kept looking good Tuesday night, bolting to an early lead and blowing past Harvard 71-54 in the first round of the NIT.
Before a crowd of 5,342 at Gallagher-Iba Arena, OSU never trailed, led by as many as 19 and ended a three-game losing streak in NIT openers.
The Cowboys, improving to 20-13, advances to face tonight's Long Beach State-Washington State winner. That second-round game will be on the home floor of the higher-seeded team. The Cowboys are the No. 3 seed in the region, while Long Beach is the No. 7 in the bracket and Washington State is the No. 2.
OSU led 15-6 barely six minutes in and maintained a double-digit edge for much of the game, attacking in the post and using a decided quickness advantage to attack the rim.
Marshall Moses scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Matt Pilgrim added 12 points inside. Reger Dowell, continuing his strong audition at the point for next season, made 6-of-7 shots and finished with 15 points.
The Cowboys, last in the Big 12 with a 43.4 shooting percentage coming in, made 27-of-50 shots from the floor (54 percent), while holding Harvard to a 40-percent effort. And they limited Ivy League Most Valuable Player Keith Wright to 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting.
“We were hopeful that we could get off to a good start and certainly try to manage the situation with the home court advantage they would have here,” said Crimson coach Tommy Amaker.Tuesday's box score