PFB - Instacap: Oklahoma State Outlasts Florida Gulf Coast 80-68 in Round 1 of NIT

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OP News

Feb 17, 2018
It wasn’t pretty, but the Cowboys weathered a rough shooting night and a fourth-quarter surge to defeat the Eagles 80-68 and earn a Round 2 NIT matchup.

Jeffrey Carroll, Mitchell Solomon and Kendall Smith stepped onto Eddie Sutton Court knowing it might be for the last time of their careers. But it you’d looked at their first half stat sheets, you might have thought they got lost on their way.

Fortunately, the sophomores carried the Pokes early, with Lindy Waters leading the way. At one point, Waters was 2 of 3 from the field while the rest of his team was 0 for 8.

How ugly was it? The Eagles started out 2 of 7 from the field with a five-minute scoring drought in the first six minutes of play. Not to be outdone, the Cowboys got started 2 of 11 from the field.

Thanks to Waters and some spot duty by the likes of Brandon Averette, Tavarius Shine and Yankuba Sima, the Cowboys built as much as 14-point lead before Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, Brandon Goodwin, was allowed to go full-January Trae Young at the second quarter buzzer.

Mitchell Solomon, who went scoreless in the first half, exploded in the third quarter making three of his first four buckets and putting his mark on every part of the game.

The Cowboys built their biggest lead, going up 18, with 24 seconds left in the third quarter. The Eagles then rattled off a 14-2 run to cut the home team’s lead to 6 with just under seven minutes remaining.

The Cowboys veterans’ heady play and effort outweighed their poor shooting, and the Pokes were able to hold off the Eagles and live to play another day in GIA.

When it was over

It was over one the free throw game started. After withstanding an early fourth-quarter rally, the Cowboys got to the line through hustle and a home whistle or two (OSU shot 27 free throws in the second half) and knocked down the free ones.

Player(s) of the game

Lindy Waters did his best to own this honor through two quarters. He was the Cowboys’ only source of offense in the first half, going 4 of 5 for 10 points.

But it was Jeffrey Carroll that pushed through a tough shooting night to lead the Cowboys with 18 points including going 12 of 13 from the charity stripe. Several of those were pivotal in putting the Eagles away. What’s more important is that he was active and showed an ability to overpower a lesser opponent. He also grabbed eight boards and had three assists.

Stat you should know

The Cowboys outscored the Eagles in bench points 28-9, and they needed every one of them. With Kendall Smith and Jeff Carroll combining to go 4 of 22 from the field (0 for 7 from 3), Tavarius Shine (13 points) and Brandon Averrette (8 timely points) were huge.

What’s next

The Cowboys face the winner of Wednesday night’s 3-6 matchup between Stanford and BYU inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. Time and date to be announced.

The post Instacap: Oklahoma State Outlasts Florida Gulf Coast 80-68 in Round 1 of NIT appeared first on Pistols Firing.

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