Oklahoma State runs wild over No. 19 BYU’s defense in upset win

Oklahoma State center Brandon Garrison (23) goes up for a dunk in the second half of the NCAA college basketball game against BYU, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in Stillwater, Okla. (AP Photo/Mitch Alcala)

Five days after beating UCF in Provo with one arm hanging out of a coffin, the lid shut Saturday on the No. 19 ranked BYU’s basketball team at Oklahoma State, the worst team in the Big 12.

The Cowboys simply tucked that little arm back in the box and snapped the latch shut.

Combine BYU’s second half against UCF and OSU’s first half and the Cougars yielded a combined 111 points.

BYU allowed 29 points in the opening minutes with only two defensive stops.

You don’t do that in the Big 12 without paying a price.

Oklahoma State collected on Saturday with a 93-83 upset win over the Cougars. The Cowboys led wire to wire. It was OSU’s first Quad 1 win of the season. The Cowboys came in 0-12 against Quad 1 and Quad 2 opponents.

“I credit Oklahoma State,” BYU coach Mark Pope said afterward. “They played incredible, were aggressive when they needed to be and patient when they needed to be. We have a very disappointed locker room.”

This was a bad loss for BYU.

While they should have been chipping away at the league standings, fighting for a great seed in the league tournament, the Cougars came in cruising and crashed.

OSU freshmen Brandon Garrison and Jamyron Keller feasted on BYU’s defense. Keller didn’t miss a shot, going 8 for 8 from the field, 4 for 4 from 3-point land for a career-high 22 points.

Killer, er, Keller couldn’t do that against an empty court in practice, but he did against the Cougars.

Garrison, a McDonald’s All-American, who reportedly couldn’t make a media availability earlier in the week because of a rumored illness, scored 21 points on 7 of 8 shooting from the field.

If he was sick, BYU played with embalming fluid in its veins.

BYU yielded 3s, 2s, dunks, layups off steals and just about anything OSU needed. Anytime BYU got something going, OSU simply answered.


OSU couldn’t miss from distance, while BYU started the game making 1 of 11 from beyond the stripe and finished 23% (8 of 35) with Dallin Hall and Trevin Knell airballing desperation shots in the final minutes.

OSU was supposed to have five or more players sick with a flu bug, but it was BYU who looked tired, drained and lethargic.

OSU’s largest lead was 20 at 66-46 early in the second half. If that 66 number looks familiar, it is because UCF scored 62 in the second half against BYU’s defense. OSU just needed a few minutes into the second half to get 66.

Hall, who has been an outstanding facilitator in Big 12 play, averaging just more than one turnover a game the past two weeks, had five turnovers against OSU.

His fifth was a no-look backcourt violation toss with 6:25 to play in the game with the Cougars down 13 at 73-60.

BYU had eight turnovers in the game. It was extremely rare for Hall to get five of those.

This was an uncharacteristic performance by BYU, but it was a loss built on a trend that goes back to last Tuesday when the Cougar defense folded.

Keller was perfect. He’d been 1 for 15 from 3-point distance going back to December.

“He was thrust into the starting lineup and made the most of it,” Pope said on his KSL postgame interview.

“We need to find a way to be more edgy and physical with our fouls. We need to pay better attention to our scout.  It’s a matter of being more vocal and together.”

This game proved the weight of making 3-point shots.

OSU shot 60% from the field on 31 of 52 shots. BYU also made 31 shots but took 71 tries as the Cowboys made 11 of 22 from beyond the arc while BYU made 8 of 35.

BYU is officially in a slump on defense.

The Cougars have allowed 181 points the past two times on the court, an average yield of of 90 points to UCF and Oklahoma State who are nothing like Houston, Baylor or Iowa State at the top of league standings.

The challenge that awaits is a little daunting.