Oklahoma State got back on the winning track Saturday with a 58-55 overtime win over Kansas State in Stillwater.
Tavarius Shine of OSU hit the first five points in overtime and Jeff Newberry add 10 points and 10 rebounds. Leyton Hammonds led the way with 13 points, and has now reached double-figures in scoring in each of the last six games.
“We didn’t play great, but we played hard and played with a lot of grit and a lot of fight,” said OSU coach Travis Ford. “We moved onto the next play and didn’t worry about the last one. We lost ourselves in the game and tuned everything out.”
Ford gave Newberry a pep talk earlier in the week.
“I brought Jeff in earlier in the week and told him that it was my fault that he wasn’t playing well,” Ford said. “I had talked to him about picking up some of the scoring load since Jawun (Evans) was out and that wasn’t right. I put too much pressure on him to an extent and it got him out of what makes him great because he started forcing the issue.
“What makes him great is when he’s locked in on defense and rebounding. He’s one of the few players that can affect the game in a lot of different ways.”
“I’m not really big on bragging about myself,” Newberry said. “My teammates just kept me into it and I knew I needed to come out with some energy. I know what I can do defensively and I just came out and tried to get a few deflections. I tried to get aggressive early and see if my shot was falling and my teammates and my coaches stayed behind me and kept me going. I didn’t play as good of a game as I wanted to on the offensive end, but our defense created offense for us.”
He was glad to get the win.
“Emotionally, we’re happy,” Newberry said. “We needed that one bad. It’s never good when you’re losing and we went on the stretch that we did with not getting wins and people saying what they were saying and stuff of that nature. It’s just felt good as a team. We always believe in each other regardless and for us to go out and get that win is big for our morale but we can’t sit up here and dwell on that for too long.”
The Cowboys and Wildcats have now split their regular season series for a fourth straight season.