Awful free-throw shooting plagues OSU in opening loss to Abilene Christian

Awful free-throw shooting plagues OSU in opening loss to Abilene Christian

The Cowboys missed 12 of 20 attempts. Said coach Mike Boynton: "There's a psychological element for sure."

Sam Hutchens

By Sam Hutchens

| Nov 7, 2023, 7:01am CST

Sam Hutchens

By Sam Hutchens

Nov 7, 2023, 7:01am CST

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State opened its men’s basketball season with a 64-59 loss to Abilene Christian, a team picked fifth in the Western Athletic Conference preseason poll.

The Cowboys missed 12 of 20 free throws, including two by senior guard Bryce Thompson with 0:35 remaining and OSU down by three.

“I don’t know,” said Thompson, a career 60.5% free-throw shooter, when asked to explain OSU’s struggles. “I’m going to get it figured out though. I’m going to get with my dad and get it figured out.”

Said OSU coach Mike Boynton:  “I can show you the numbers that we shoot every day. We had them all make 10 in a row before they left the building last night. They all did it. We shot like 85% overall as a team. There’s days where we make 500 in a day. There’s a psychological element for sure.”

Abilene Christian matched OSU in rebounding (35) and made 3-pointers with five, shooting 28% to the Cowboys’ 21%. OSU freshman guard Connor Dow was 3-of-7 from that range.

Junior Javon Small and freshman Jamyron Keller, OSU’s top options at point guard, were out with injuries. Thompson and senior Jarius Hicklen filled in. 

“You’ve got to be good enough,” Boynton said. “We have a couple veteran guards out there that have got to be able to get the job done. I don’t know when (Small) will be back.”

The Cowboys have lost to a mid-major opponent in three consecutive years, including Southern Illinois last season and Oakland in 2021-22.

“This was not a good loss, not at all,” Boynton said. “My first apology is to the fans who came out to watch us play that poorly tonight.”

 

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Sam Hutchens covers Oklahoma State sport for Sellout Crowd. He interned for The Stillwater News Press in 2021 and The Guthrie News Leader in 2022, where he won a first-place OPA award for in-depth reporting. He has also covered sports in southwest Oklahoma for The Lawton Constitution. He strives to tell you the OSU sports stories that you want to tell your friends about. You can email him at [email protected] and connect on Twitter (X) @Sam_Hutchens_

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