STILLWATER, Okla. -- After its fastest start of the season, Oklahoma State didn't need much of a second half to knock Harvard out of the NIT.
The third-seeded Cowboys scored a season-high 41 points in the first half on the way to a 71-54 victory Tuesday night behind 18 points and eight rebounds from forward Marshall Moses."Our guys were ready," Moses said. "Everybody was on the same page and wanted to win."Reger Dowell went 6 for 7 from the field and scored 15 points and Matt Pilgrim added 12 as six Cowboys scored six or more points.Oklahoma State (20-13) took a 14-point lead into halftime thanks to a 14-4 run midway through the first half."I was just excited the way they came out," said Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford, who thought his team was the most excited it's been all season. "I wasn't quite sure exactly how they were going to come out. I was watching them in pregame talk and I thought they were ready. How we started the game, I felt very good from that point. I felt we were ready to play."Junior Keiton Page, who finished with eight points, hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to start the spurt and Roger Franklin capped it with a jump shot from the baseline. The Cowboys held Harvard (23-7) to one basket during the four-minute stretch.Markel Brown had seven points, three rebounds and three assists for Oklahoma State."I was very impressed with their quickness and their speed," Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. "It certainly knocked us back on our heels early."Kyle Casey led sixth-seeded Harvard with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Ivy League player of the year Keith Wright scored 10 points and hit double figures for the 15th straight game. Laurent Rivard added 10 off the bench for Harvard, which totaled its fewest points since scoring 52 in a loss to Connecticut on Dec. 22, 2010.Oklahoma State outrebounded Harvard 17-9 in the first half and 31-23 for the game."Their guys up front, Pilgrim and Moses, they are strong, they are veterans and they are senior players," Amaker said. "They played like it."The Crimson ranked second nationally in free throw percentage, but went 4 for 7 from the line. It was a season low in both attempts and makes.Harvard made its first NIT appearance after winning at least a share of the Ivy League for the first time in school history. The Crimson lost to Princeton on a shot at the buzzer in a tiebreaker for the league's automatic NCAA tournament berth.Oklahoma State, which won its 32nd consecutive non-conference home game, will play the winner between No. 2 Washington State and No. 7 Long Beach State winner. The higher seed will host."It's a little difficult for someone like me, who loves to prepare," Ford said. "Not only do we not know who we are playing, but we don't know when we are playing."