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March 21, 2013

Cowboys fall in the first round of the NCAA Tourney to No. 12 Oregon

What started as a dream season for the Cowboys ended more like a nightmare.

Oklahoma State may have had the higher seed, but that wouldn't be enough to overcome Oregon as the Cowboys were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament with a 68-55 loss in the second round.

The Cowboys started off the game with a high pace, batttling the ducks shot for shot. But even with Oregon turning the ball over nine times int he first ten minutes of play, the Ducks' outside shooting began to heat up.

The Cowboys stayed persistent, refusing to go down without a fight. Oregon would continue to pressure the Pokes, especially in the backcourt. OSU, rattled by the Ducks' onslaught of offense, started to make mistakes. Ten turnovers and nine fouls later, the Cowboys found themselves deeper and deeper into a hole with the shovel still in hand.

In the best three-point shooting outing since December, Oregon hit five treys to propel themselves to an 11 point lead at the half. The Cowboys grew extremely cold as they tried to match their foes, missing all but two three-pointers in the first half.

In the second half, the Ducks' hot streak from beyond the arc continued. The Cowboys, opting to stay with the pick-and-roll offense instead of a dribble-drive, couldn't keep up with Oregon's increasing momentum. The Pokes found themselves down by double-digits late, but a Phil Forte three brought the game to within 13 with just under 2:30 to go.

The comeback would stall however, and with it, the Cowboys' season. Freshman phenom Marcus Smart, in what possibly could be his last game in an OSU uniform, went just 5-of-13 from the field, finishing with 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five turnovers. Markel Brown led the Cowboys with 16 points, Le'Bryan Nash had 10 points and Michael Cobbins contributed six points. The Pokes finish the season 24-9.


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