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Orange-blooded: Fans help power OSU to an upset win

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Boynton observing

Mike Boynton observes during Oklahoma State's game against Texas Tech in Gallagher-Iba Arena on Feb. 22, 2021. Photo courtesy: Courtney Bay/OSU Athletics

The buzzer sounded, coaches shared COVID-19 friendly fist bumps, OSU players and fans celebrated with music blaring as Oklahoma State upset No. 18 Texas Tech.

Then the music turned down, and OSU coach Mike Boynton stood at center court throwing fists in the air while screaming with the OSU student section. Boynton then led Gallagher Iba Arena in an “O-S-U” cheer before heading over to do an ESPN interview and sing the alma mater.

After that was over, he went back out on the court one final time to thank the students with waves and pistol hand symbols before heading into the locker room to celebrate with his team.

“(Boynton’s energy and celebration is) why I came here,” Kalib Boone said. “He loves Stillwater, and he loves this community.

“We can’t thank the fans enough. They really helped us push through that overtime.”

In a matchup between two teams which are so evenly matched, games can be decided not solely by the play on the court, but also by the fans that create the environment.

That’s exactly what the fans inside of Gallagher Iba arena did; they helped create what at times felt like a six versus five matchup on the court.

“This is who this is about, (the fans), and this no disrespect to our older fans because I love them too, but our students mean so much to the culture and the energy of our program,” Boynton said. “I’m just so thankful they’ve been so engaged with this group.”

Kalib Boone has been on the receiving end of a lot of standing ovations this season, and he is thankful for the support of the fans.

He said the team has not yet hit its stride, but had one message to OSU fans before leaving his media availability Zoom call.

“OSU community, we love you, thank y’all so much” Boone said.

sports.ed@ocolly.com