March 3, 2007
Trying for a road win
From head-butt to headache.
In the waning moments of the home finale against Kansas State, Mario Boggan decided to send Cartier Martin home with a parting gift. In turn, the action ultimately will send Oklahoma State to central Texas shorthanded. If this season couldn't get anymore wild, the Cowboys now have to try to defeat the Baylor Bears without their leading scorer, as Boggan will serve a one-game suspension handed down from Sean Sutton for the incident.
Just another obstacle for OSU to overcome as the team is between a bubble and a hard place for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
The good news from the last game - Boggan's situation aside - is that the Cowboys (20-9 overall, 6-8 Big 12) played very well against the Wildcats. It seemed like the team was playing together and with more purpose than in recent weeks during their losing skid. If is a case of too little, too late, though? It could appear to be, but OSU is still in control of its own destiny, even if they need to win their last two regular-season games and a game or two in Oklahoma City at the Big 12 Tournament.
So how will OSU make up for the loss of 20.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game? They really have no answer for that, other than to have other players on the team to step up and pick up the slack left behind from Boggan's absence. That means players such as [/db]Byron Eaton[/db] and Terrel Harris will need to have nice games to give the Cowboys any change in Waco. Obi Muonelo is expected to play in the game, but how much effect will he have on things for the Pokes? After all, he's been on the shelf for months.
At least the opponent is one that isn't impossible to beat at home, as the Bears are just 3-4 against conference opponents at the Farrell Center. Baylor (13-15, 3-12) has only won of its last seven games. They're led by the tandem of Curtis Jerrells and Kevin Rogers. Jerrells is averaging 14.1 ppg and Rogers is putting up 13 ppg for the Bears.
This is obviously an important game for the Cowboys to win because, well, they have yet to win a road game this season. And picking up wins on the road in their last two regular season games would at least keep OSU alive for a spot in the Big Dance. After that, winning a couple of games at Ford Center would go a long way for this ballclub.
Win and OSU still has a chance to advance. Lose and the bubble is probably burst for good.
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