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Oklahoma State's shooting slump carries over in road Bedlam loss

Feb. 11—The Oklahoma State offense didn't need to be great, or even good, to win Bedlam on Saturday.

This issue is it couldn't even be decent in the 66-62 loss in Norman.

The Sooners doubled their opponent in turnovers, struggled from the free throw line and went on long scoring droughts, including zero made field goals in the last three minutes of a close game. They should lose that game.

They didn't because the Cowboys connected on just 31 percent (19-of-62) of their field goals and missed 15 of their 18 attempts from beyond the arc.

"I don't know if we're a great shooting team, but we're a good shooting team against a team that defends the (3-point line) really well," coach Mike Boynton said. "We didn't shoot well in the first half ... but we got some really good looks, I thought, in the second half that didn't go down."

The News Press wrote about OSU's shooting revival when the nonconference games were through. Now, the numbers tell an ugly story.

In conference play, the Cowboys are 10th in 3-point percentage, 12th in field goal percentage and last in free throw percentage.

On an individual basis, the advanced stats community prefers true shooting percentage as a measurement because it balances out the value difference of 3s, 2s, and free throws.

If a player is in the mid to high 50s, he's average. If he's in the 60s, he's efficient. If he's in the 70s, he's a center in the Group of Five or Divisions II and III, or he's Reed Sheppard — a top 10 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Javon Small's true shooting percentage in Big 12 play is 53.4. John-Michael Wright's is 50.3, Bryce Thompson's was 47.8 before he tore his labrum and Quion Williams' is 43.1.

Freshmen front court players Brandon Garrison and Eric Dailey Jr. have respective Big 12 true shooting percentages of 62.3 and 58.9, but they need those guards to help create a lot of their shots. Plus, it was three weeks ago when Dailey Jr. last played more than 16 minutes in a game.

Zooming back in on the Bedlam game, the combined true shooting percentage for OSU was 41.7.

Wright explained post-Bedlam why he has shot 15-for-58 in the past five games with the News Press.

"I think my team has done a good job at getting me open, getting me pretty good looks at the rim," he said. "A lot of my shots are in and out, so I'm not really losing too much confidence. Those are what I call 'good misses.'"

The Cowboys and fans might hope for some bad makes when they host No. 21 BYU this Saturday.