Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 17th 2023

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Learning to win the close games is an issue for Oklahoma State this season.

Meanwhile, every game should be a learning experience for rebuilding Notre Dame.

The Cowboys and Fighting Irish each look to rebound from a loss at the Legends Classic when they meet in the third-place game on Friday in New York.

Oklahoma State’s 85-70 victory over Sam Houston on Sunday was sandwiched by losses to Abilene Christian and St. Bonaventure by a combined seven points. The Cowboys’ 66-64 loss to the Bonnies in Brooklyn on Thursday was especially rough, considering the Cowboys didn’t yield a field goal over the final 4:50 and still couldn’t hold a late lead.

It also didn’t help that Oklahoma State went 7-for-23 from 3-point range, 11-for-18 from the free-throw line and committed 14 turnovers.

“Getting them to learn how to finish … that’s part of the process of playing real games, under real pressure,” Cowboys coach Mike Boynton Jr. said. “I’m confident that our guys will learn from this and be better.”

Boynton didn’t think star Bryce Thompson would be available after an apparent leg injury limited him to 16 minutes and seven points on Thursday.

Thompson scored 36 points combined on 14-of-26 shooting in the first two games.

John-Michael Wright scored 14 for a second straight contest for Oklahoma State, which faces Notre Dame (1-2) for the first time.

The young Irish were expected to take their lumps during coach Micah Shrewsberry’s first season, and did with an 83-59 loss to Auburn on Thursday in the other Legends Classic semifinal. Notre Dame shot 2-for-26 (7.7 percent) from 3-point range, leaving the team 13-for-69 (18.8 percent) from distance this season.

After shooting 50.9 percent during a 70-63 opening victory over Niagara, the Irish have shot 35.8 percent combined in losses to Western Carolina and Auburn.

“All of these games give you a chance to challenge yourself,” Shrewsberry said. “You just get a chance at a measuring stick for yourself as a program to see where you are.”

Talented Irish freshman Markus Burton totaled 46 points on 17-of-35 shooting in the first two games, but he scored just 12 while going 4-for-20 vs. Auburn.

–Field Level Media

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