Share “OSU men rally past Missouri State”

By The Associated Press Published: December 7, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Forgive Le'Bryan Nash for sounding like the freshman he is at this point in his Oklahoma State career.

“I can't wait until we play at Kansas,” Nash said following his first taste of a true road game Wednesday night, a 72-67 win over Missouri State before an energetic crowd of 8,601 at JQH Arena.

“This was a hostile environment,” Nash said, “and I've never seen anything like this.”

Kansas will wait – should wait, although the Cowboys might have enjoyed a growth spurt Wednesday night, rallying from 12 points down in the second half in their first appearance on an enemy floor this season.

And while the environment at JQH Arena was lively, with OSU representing a big-name foe from a big boy conference, it wasn't exactly hostile. And it wasn't anything like Allen Fieldhouse when The Phog is rockin'.

Still, don't undersell it either.

OSU hadn't won a true road game since Feb. 17, 2010, when Obi Muonelo went wild at Iowa State. These Cowboys won in their first try this season, ending a 12-game road losing streak, with several players pitching in, including Jéan-Paul Olukemi, who erased his own ragged stretch of road play, grabbing a team-high nine rebounds to go with 13 points, including four of his team's final five from the foul line in the final 1:39.

“You know the struggles we had in the past,” Olukemi said. “Coming in here and winning this one, it does a lot. It means a lot to me.

“It just feels really good to win on the road. I don't care who you're playing. It was really good for me, really great.”

Nash, the up-and-down rookie, scored 12 of his team-high 19 points in the second half and added eight boards. Keiton Page had 15 points and Michael Cobbins added 10. Fred Gulley matched his career high with eight points and added five rebounds, two assists and two steals.

All those guys – and more – played pivotal roles as the Cowboys got off the deck, just as they seemed ready to take another hit.

One bad stretch late in the first half had allowed the Bears to take a 34-27 lead to intermission.

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