“You've got to learn to play through it.”
By halftime, starters Keiton Page and Le'Bryan Nash were strapped with three fouls, while reserve Marek Soucek collected four in five minutes of court time.
The calls kept coming in the second half, as by the midway point of the period, four Cowboys – Nash, Soucek, Markel Brown and Cezar Guerrero – all had four each. Nash and Guerrero eventually fouled out. For a team down to eight available scholarship players, it was a heavy toll.
Clearly, some of the fouls caught the Cowboys by surprise. Page was called for an offensive foul while shooting a 3-pointer, after getting his defender in the air on a pump fake and leaning into him. Nash was called for a charge that wiped out a basket.
“Something good happened, or we thought something good happened,” Ford said, “we were already clapping and all of a sudden it's, ‘Wait.'”
Here's the kicker: OSU stayed in the game until the final minutes. The Cowboys were tied 42-42 with 7:44 remaining and trailed only by four, 50-46, at the 3:42 mark.
But Cezar Guerrero soon picked up his fifth foul and the Longhorns outscored OSU 8-3 to the finish, handing the Cowboys their first Big 12 loss.
OSU fell to 1-1 in the conference, 8-7 overall. Texas improved to 1-1 and 11-4.
“We put ourselves where we wanted to be in the first half,” said OSU freshman Brian Williams, who scored a game- and career-high 16 points. “But late in the second half… I don't think we finished the game the way we should have.”