Cowboys Demolish Ole Miss, Wins NIT Season Tip-Off
STILLWATER -- The Oklahoma State Cowboys move to 7-0 on the season after demolishing Ole Miss 78-37 in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship game. This is the first time the Pokes have started the season 7-0 since the 2014-15 season, a season where they started 7-0
Sophomore Yor Anei was named the tournament's MVP. The win also marks Oklahoma State's second time winning the NIT Season Tip-Off, last time was in 1991.
The 41-point margin of victory marks the second largest margin of victory in a road game in school history.
"I don't know if I've seen it either," head coach Mike Boynton said of the Pokes' margin of victory being greater than the 37 points score by Ole Miss. "Certainly at this level against another Power [Five] conference team. I think our guys were just locked in; we played with a great sense of purpose tonight. It was one of our goals: to win a tournament in the preseason. They played the way that we are capable of. We still didn't shoot the ball great. At some point, we'll start making shots consistently and I think we can take ourselves to another level."
This is the first time that the Pokes have started the season 7-0 since the 2014-15 season, a year where they started the season 7-0 before dropping their first game of the season against South Carolina.
Just as in the semifinal game against Syracuse on Wednesday, the championship game against Ole Miss was a game of runs, but on a smaller scale. Not in points, but just in number of runs.
Oklahoma State finished the first half incredibly strong as they went into the locker room up 34-15 on an 18-1 run that was capped with a 3-point buzzer beater by Thomas Dziagwa.
It was the fewest point total in a half for Ole Miss in over a decade.
Senior Cameron McGriff led the way for the Cowboys with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor, 5-of-5 from the free throw line. He also hauled in five rebounds.
But like it has been in most of the games this season, it was sophomore Yor Anei that was one of the main catalysts on both ends. Anei finished the night with 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. He also led both sides with nine rebounds, seven on the defensive end, with four blocks.
[Anei] was terrific," said coach Boynton on the Cowboy Radio Network. "I told him before the game that we needed to play through him and that we were going to feed him early, and he was ready. He played with confidence, he was aggressive on the glass. He still did was he did on the defensive end. I'm so proud of his growth, but it was a team effort. We had a lot of guys give us a lot of good minutes. Even Jonathan Laurent late, who came in and played with confidence. I hope this is something that we can build with him as well.
The Cowboy defense was fantastic against Ole Miss as they forced 20 turnovers and held Ole Miss to horrible shooting on the night. The Rebels shot just 25.9 percent from the field, 5.0 percent from 3-point range and 54.5 percent from the free throw line.
"[The game] started and finished with defense," said coach Boynton on the Cowboy Radio Network. "We held [Ole Miss] to one made three in the first half, and they didn't make a single three in the second half, and that really gave us a chance to get stops, rebounds and get our and run and score some offensive points in transition."
Oklahoma State will be back in action next week, Wed. Dec. 4 against Georgetown, another great opponent that's going to challenge the Cowboys.
"I want them to enjoy this win [against Ole Miss]; they set a goal, they put a plan together, they worked for it and executed it. That's what you want to have happen," said coach Boynton on the Cowboy Radio Network. "The truth is, we can't let this [win] linger forever. We need to enjoy it for 24 hours or so. We'll be off tomorrow, when we get back, hopefully enjoy a little Bedlam [football] win in Stillwater for the Cowboys and then on Sunday, we'll get back and get ready for practice because we've got a really good Georgetown team coming to Stillwater next week.
Tipoff for the Georgetown game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT and will streamed on ESPN+.