STILLWATER, Oklahoma – As the Cowboys cruised to their 18th-straight season opener on Friday night, it was all about the newcomers.
Veterans such as Keiton Page helped run the show, but the stats went to the freshman and transfers in a 71-39 victory at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Freshman Le'Bryan Nash led all scorers despite putting up just 13 in a balanced scoring effort for OSU.
Fellow freshman Cezar Guerrero came in right behind him with 12. Jean-Paul Olukemi was the only other Cowboy in double figures with 11.
The Cowboy defense helped force Texas A&M-Corpus Christi into one of the worst shooting nights imaginable, holding the Islanders to 32 percent from the floor and just seven percent from 3-point range. They shot worse than 19 percent in the first half.
OSU jumped out to leads of 9-0 and 17-4 before leading 33-11 at the half.
Several other newcomers played a key role in the defensive effort for Oklahoma State despite not putting up any big offensive stats.
7-footer Philip Jurick played his role to perfection, clogging the paint and grabbing 10 boards without even putting up a shot the whole game. And forward Michael Cobbins added four blocks.
The 11 halftime points for the Islanders and 39 overall were defensive lows for the Cowboys in the Travis Ford era.
Oklahoma State also extended its non-conference home winning streak to 33.
OSU (1-0) will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday for the first round of the NIT Season Tipoff. The game is set for 7 p.m. inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.