STILLWATER — Travis Ford insisted that Oklahoma State's stiff 3-point shooting through two exhibition games was no concern, even with perimeter percentage ranking among the team's “To Do List” priorities.
Friday night, Ford found confirmation, as his team got real when the games turned real.
In the season opener before an estimated 6,000 fans at Gallagher-Iba Arena, the No. 8-ranked Cowboys rolled past Mississippi Valley State, 117-62, doing anything and everything well — including hitting their 3s.
Phil Forte fired in four shots from the arc, and the Cowboys connected on 12 of 21 overall, contributing to good feelings all the way around.
Forte finished with a game-high 22 points, while Le'Bryan Nash added 21 — two of five OSU players in double-figure scoring. Nash also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.
“I guess we were just saving it for the game that actually mattered,” said Forte, who had made only 4 of 13 tries from the arc against Campbellsville and Emporia State. “No, that's not what we worry about. We all know we can shoot. We work on it every day.
“Sometimes shots aren't going to fall. And some nights they will fall.”
In the exhibition wins, the Cowboys made just 8 of 39 shots from 3-point territory, including a 2-for-18 performance the last time out against Emporia State.
Still, Ford shrugged off any worries, with proof of improved shooting, he said, more than evident in practices.
Now, there's game proof.
“I've never been a coach who gets overly concerned about that,” Ford said. “This basketball team, we've shown in practice that on a pretty consistent basis we've shot the ball well. You never know. I'm more about the things you can control. You can't control whether the ball goes in or not.