OSU junior Le'Bryan Nash said one major aspect of his offseason was getting better on the boards.
Friday night, it paid off.
Nash grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds in OSU's 117-62 rout of Mississippi Valley State, which combined with his 21 points resulted in his first career double-double.
“I'm excited,” Nash said. “My biggest focus out there was getting rebounds. In my offseason, I was trying to improve my rebounding a lot. It showed today.
“I'm not worried about the scoring, it's going to come. That's what I do, I score the ball. But the rebounds are what I'm proud of.”
The Cowboys return to action Tuesday night, taking on Utah Valley at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Tip time is 7.
MURPHY, CARROLL SIT
Forward Kamari Murphy was held out of the opener with a minor shoulder injury.
OSU coach Travis Ford said the sophomore should be back soon.
“He could have played tonight, easily,” Ford said. “He'll practice Sunday, probably be full go Sunday and play Tuesday.”
Freshman Jeffrey Carroll also didn't play, and Ford said he's a likely redshirt candidate.
PLENTY OF FOULS, FREE THROWS
New NCAA rules — and an emphasis to enforce the rules in an effort to free up offense — are a hot topic heading into this season.
Friday night, the two teams combined for 60 fouls and 79 foul shots in a game that lasted 2:15.
“A lot of fouls,” Ford said. “I thought tonight you probably saw more of what I was anticipating. Wow, I thought it was more than the exhibition games. That was called tightly — on both sides.”
* OSU improved to 81-24 (77.1 percent) in season openers and 93-12 (88.6 percent) all-time in home openers. OSU is 73-3 (96.1 percent) in Gallagher-Iba Arena openers.
* The Cowboys improved to 21-0 all-time against members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
* OSU's 63 first-half points were just four shy of the school record of 67 set against Houston Baptist on Dec. 15, 1998.
* Dating back last season's game at Texas Tech on Feb. 13, sophomore guard Phil Forte has now connected on 31 consecutive free throws, just the seventh streak of 30 or more in school history. That string ranks as the sixth-longest in school history.
* Freshman guard Stevie Clark dished out a game-high eight assists, tying for the fourth-most ever by a Cowboy freshman and the most ever by an OSU frosh in his first game as a Cowboy. Clark got his eight assists in 23 minutes, while the Delta Devils managed but five in their 200 minutes as a team.
BY JOHN HELSLEY