Newcomer Darrell Williams Leads Cowboys

STILLWATER – Travis Ford has seen his share of season-opening exhibition games but on Monday night he saw a little bit of everything, including a double-double from newcomer Darrell Williams in his first game wearing a Cowboy uniform, as Oklahoma State tipped off the 2010-11 season with an 86-66 victory over Oklahoma City University at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The 6-8, 255-pound Williams, a transfer from Midland (Texas) College, finished with 15 points, 15 rebounds and a team-best five assists while playing 29 minutes. Keiton Page led the Cowboys with 21 points and Jarred Shaw contributed 14, which is three more than he scored the entire season a year ago as a freshman.

The Cowboys struggled against the NAIA school under first-year coach Kevin Morrissey. The Cowboys spent the first half playing like a team that had five first-year players and led only 44-38 at halftime against the NAIA school from nearby Oklahoma City.

But after shooting just 38.2 percent in the first half and committing 15 fouls (Oklahoma City was also whistled for 15 fouls in a 20-minute half that took nearly one hour to play), the Cowboys broke the game open in the second half.

"Everything I saw tonight was expected. I was kind of hoping and praying that maybe they'd surprise me but when you're dealing with a group of guys who are still figuring out their identity as a team, figuring out each other ... everyone of our players, from Keiton Page to everybody, had a different role than they had last year, except for maybe the point guards," said Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford.

"To be honest with you, as much as I would have loved to have gone out there and played well, a little dose of humility tonight will help us get better and help us learn, and see the mistakes we're making," Ford added.

"Now our guys can really get down to getting better. We've been preaching on it now for two weeks but I don't think they've really grasped it because they're just battling each other, but now that they see it against another team ... it's a great learning lesson that we can use.

"We'll start correcting our mistakes Wednesday morning. If we could be here in the morning, we'd be here in the morning but we've got to take the day off tomorrow. We'll start Wednesday morning correcting some of these mistakes. There are plenty of them to start correcting," continued Ford.

Williams missed his first four shots in a Cowboy uniform but was 5-for-7 from the field in the second half to lead the way against the Stars.

"Darrell had some flashes of doing some good things. Some of the things he did wrong are things we've been telling him about that you just can't do at this level, as far as going up soft around the basket. He had 15 points and really probably should have had 20," said Ford.

"In the second half, he decided I'm going to rebound, I'm going to play like I'm 6-7, 245, I'm going to play to my abilities. You saw him go up above the rim and do some of the things he's capable of. We're just looking for him to do it for two halves and 30 minutes a game, rather than he did it for about 15 tonight."

All 12 Cowboys who played in the game scored, including Ray Penn (9), Markel Brown (7) and Mike Cobbins (6).

The Cowboys play their second and final exhibition game Friday night against Campbellsville (Ky.) University, an NAIA school where Ford began his college coaching career.

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