STILLWATER — Oklahoma State’s run of powderpuff opponents continued Wednesday night.
Unlike Sunday’s slow start against Central Arkansas, the Cowboys jumped on University of Texas-Arlington early and never backed down en route to a 69-44 blowout.
“Nothing like a good slice of humble pie for your Christmas present,” UTA coach Scott Cross said. “Oklahoma State played a great game. They’re a very good team, and they showed how good they were tonight.”
With the Cowboys having an up-and-down shooting night, they relied heavily on their defense — which UTA found out to be quite good. OSU forced the Mavericks to turn the ball over 31 times, finishing with more turnovers than field goals made.
“I loved our defensive effort. It was consistent, other than a few minutes in the second half,” OSU coach Travis Ford said. “That was obviously the difference in the game. Whenever you turn somebody over 31 times at home, you’re probably going to win.”
The Mavs were averaging a turnover a minute in the first half with 20 — the last coming in the final five seconds of the period that led to an easy layup for Markel Brown to make it 36-17. It wasn’t until just under 10 minutes left in the game that UTA finally held more points than turnovers.
“That was a big part of the scouting report. They had trouble handling pressure and didn’t do too well with double teams, so we embraced that and did it,” OSU senior forward Philip Jurick said.
While UTA came in with a 5-2 mark — with the losses being to Oklahoma and Texas — Ford admitted that he was worried about how his team would handle the aggressive veteran Mavericks squad.
“I can’t tell you how concerned I was about this game. From what I saw on tape, I was very concerned,” Ford said. “I thought they matched up with us very well — and in fact, thought they had a better matchup than we did. They look so physical and so senior-laden.”