CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Thomas Dziagwa wasn’t sure why it took Oklahoma State so long to get going. Once the Cowboys did, Dziagwa and the team put on a stellar performance they hope will pay dividends the rest of the season.
Dziagwa had 21 points off a career-best tying seven 3-pointers as Oklahoma State defeated College of Charleston 73-54 on Wednesday night.
The Cowboys trailed by nine points midway through the opening half, until Dziagwa heated up and lifted the team to its second 3-0 start in coach Mike Boynton’s three seasons.
“We kind of showed up late to the party,” Dziagwa said. “We rallied, banded together and fought through.”
Dziagwa’s shooting was a big reason why.
He hit three 3-pointers in a 13-4 run to close the opening half to tie things at 30 at the break. “That kind of stemmed the tide and shifted the momentum,” Boynton said.
Oklahoma State fell behind again early in the second half, 36-32, on Brevin Galloway’s three. Once again, Dziagwa got hot during a 15-0 run that put the game away.
Dziagwa, a senior from Florida, tied his career best on made threes, matching the seven he had in a loss to Texas last February.
“My job is to make shots when I’m open and be a threat out there,” he said. “Kudos to my teammates because they’re the reason I get open.”
Dziagwa came into the game just 2 of 5 from behind the arc this season. He was happy he could finally contribute the way he wanted.
Lindy Waters III scored 16 points for Oklahoma State while Cameron McGriff had a game-high 10 rebounds.
Jaylen McManus led the Cougars with 18 points. Grant Riller, who came in averaging 24 points, added 16.
Riller had 12 points in the first half as Charleston built its lead. He was held to just four points the final 20 minutes as the Cougars fell behind. “They caught fire in the second half and we stayed cold,” he said.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys deep, experienced roster wore down College of Charleston. Oklahoma State consistently made the extra pass and had a season high 20 assists. Unselfishness like that will give them a chance in the Big 12 Conference this year if the Cowboys continue to progress.
College of Charleston: The Cougars have had Power Five takedowns in the past, most notably defeating North Carolina in 2010 and LSU with Ben Simmons in 2015. But they’ll always have trouble when their outside touch is off. Riller was 0-of-4 on 3s and the team was just 5 of 27 from behind the arc overall.
Mike Boynton is from Brooklyn, New York. He’s got plenty of ties to South Carolina, though. Boynton spent four years playing for the Gamecocks, then was on staff at four Palmetto State schools including his alma mater before eventually winding up in Oklahoma. Ex-Gamecocks coach Eddie Fogler, who recruited Boynton to the South, was in the stands behind the bench cheering him on. “It’s always good to be back in the state, spent 13 years of my life here, met my wife here in Columbia (S.C.), so I have some familiarity,” he said.
Oklahoma State returns home to face Yale on Sunday.
College of Charleston starts a run of five games away from home at Marshall on Tuesday night.
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