Horne takes on a bigger role
Hurricane forward is becoming more consistent, Haith says
University of Tulsa forward Jeriah Horne entered Wednesday's game against Oklahoma State during a scoring lull of nearly eight minutes, and he ended the drought with a muchneeded 3-pointer.
Eight more first-half points followed from Horne, who
without arguably OSU's most valuable player.
“There's no doubt he's our most experienced interior guy,” Boynton said. “He gives us some toughness and obviously a lot of experience in these type of environments.”
McGriff played four minutes in the first half. He scored his first points with 12:42 left in the game. All nine of his points came via the 3-pointer, marking the first game in which the 6-foot-7 junior did not score a two-point field goal this season.
The foul trouble — he picked up a third foul 71 seconds into the second half — sapped McGriff of his aggressiveness, which made him ineffective. It was a similar feeling last Friday at Minnesota, when OSU was plus-11 in 29 minutes with McGriff but minus-18 in the 11 minutes he sat with foul trouble.
The Cowboys were actually minus-2 with McGriff on the floor against Tulsa, but that doesn't reduce the fact OSU is a more complete and disciplined team when he's in the lineup.
OSU (4-4) will Saturday against
MEN'S BASKETBALL Houston (7-0) in former Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson's return to Gallagher-Iba Arena.
The Cougars are the 25thbest offensive rebounding team in the country. Although they shoot a lot of 3s, they'll pose enough challenges inside that the Cowboys can't afford to go for stretches without McGriff like they did Wednesday.
McGriff was apologetic after the loss.
“I'm letting my teammates down,” he said. “I think they rely on me a lot to be out there as much as possible.”
When McGriff is out on the court and aggressive, OSU is better in the halfcourt offensively and has fewer breakdowns defensively.
It shows in the numbers. In four victories, he has averaged 18.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game — numbers that could put the junior at an allconference level.
In four losses, he averaged 11.8 points and 5.8 boards.
Against Minnesota and Tulsa, he didn't attack the rim, perhaps because of the early fouls. He shot one free throw in the two games combined, after averaging nearly six per game through the first six.