Page, Penn Lead Cowboys

Keiton Page made just two of 16 shots in the first two games of the 76 Classic tournament. But the 5-9 sharpshooter broke out of his shooting slump Sunday by scoring a career-high 29 points to lead Oklahoma State to a 66-49 victory over Murray State in the third-place game at the tournament in Anaheim, Calif.

Page made 10 of 13 shots from the field, including four of his five three-pointers, as Oklahoma State rebounded from its first loss of the season on Saturday night to Virginia Tech. The Cowboys won two of three games in the 76 Classic and return home with a 5-1 record.

The Cowboys trailed 23-21 at halftime but scored 11 consecutive points – a three-pointer by Nick Sidorakis, a fastbreak lay up by Page, and back-to-back treys from the junior from Pawnee, Okla. – in the first two and a half minutes of the second half to take control of the game.

Page and Cowboy sophomore point guard Ray Penn may have been the smallest players on the court but they came up big on Sunday. The 5-foot-9 guards combined to score 29 points as the Cowboys outscored the Racers in the second half, and they never got closer than five points after the Cowboys 11-0 run to open the half.

Page (29) and Penn (13) were the only Cowboys to score in double figures but head coach Travis Ford's team received contributions from Marshall Moses (7 points), Sidorakis (6 points) and Darrell Williams (4 points, 11 rebounds).

"Tonight was a total team effort. Yes, Keiton Page had a tremendous night ... but I thought it was the best team effort we've probably had all year long as far as different guys stepping up to give us more positive plays than negative plays," Ford said.

Page needed just 13 shots from the field to score his 29 points, and impressed his head coach.

"It was a very impressive performance," Ford said. "He came out just on fire. He came out very focused. I think it's the first time he came out not really worried about offense but just trying to figure out how to win.

"I think Keiton's been pressing a little bit, trying to figure out how to get open, how to get his shot off, and when you have that mentality you put too much pressure on yourself.

"Tonight I just thought he was just a little more focused, he played with a high level of energy and our guys found him, and he just made some ... out of his 10 makes, seven of them were just tough, tough shots. But when he's making shots like that it just makes our team so much better. It was an impressive performance by Keiton, no question about it," Ford added.

Page became the second OSU player to establish a career scoring best in the 76 Classic. Marshall Moses scored a career best 27 points in OSU's first-round victory over DePaul on Thanksgiving Day.

Page's previous career high was 25 points against Oklahoma on Feb. 13, 2010.

The Cowboys are back in action Wednesday night when they host Central Arkansas at Gallagher-Iba Arena.


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