Horne takes on a big­ger role

Hur­ri­cane for­ward is be­com­ing more consistent, Haith says

Tulsa World - - Sports - By Kelly Hines

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.

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