Kansas v Oklahoma State

Despite the ugly performance, Oklahoma State is not a fluke

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Oklahoma State is one of the most difficult teams in the country to get a read on.

And tonight was a perfect example of why.

Marcus Smart shot 2-14 from the floor on Wednesday night. Le’Bryan Nash was 3-10. Phil Forte went 4-12 but shot just 1-8 from beyond the arc. And despite the fact that three of their most important players struggled mightily, Oklahoma State still had the ball with a chance to win the game on the final possession of regulation. And overtime. And double-overtime.

The Pokes ended up losing 68-67 — which, frankly, feels like the first time that Travis Ford’s club has lost a game that has gone down to the wire this season — but they were right there with the No. 9 team in the country despite putting together this putrid performance offensively.

This has happened before to Oklahoma State. The Pokes were able to knock off Baylor in overtime on their home floor with Smart and Markel Brown shooting a combined 8-38 from the field.

Because, while Smart is the one getting the Player of the Year and NBA Draft attention and Brown leads the team in scoring and highlight reel dunks, Oklahoma State is actually quite balanced. They have a number of weapons offensively, they have a versatile roster that will only continue to get better defensively with Brian Williams back in the mix, and they have a group of guys that know their roles.

Philip Jurick is in their to be big and block shots.

Michael Cobbins is the glue guy, chasing down offensive rebounds and helping to protect the rim defensively.

While it can backfire at times, Nash has embraced the idea of being the third-option offensively.

It’s tough to really get a sense of a team in a game that was as ugly and choppy as Wednesday night’s battle atop the Big 12 was, but Oklahoma State’s record is not a fluke.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

 

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.