Cowboys Fall On Night To Honor 10

STILLWATER – The University of Texas knows how to spoil a party. On a night when Oklahoma State honored the lives of the 10 members of the basketball family who died in the plane crash 10 years ago, the seventh-ranked Longhorns played the role of spoiler with a 61-46 victory over the Cowboys in a nearly packed Gallagher-Iba Arena.

In what was supposed to be a special night in which family members of the 10 men who perished in the plane crash were recognized, and former Cowboys head coach Eddie Sutton was joined by former players Desmond Mason, Andre Williams and Doug Gottlieb in addressing the crowd at halftime, Oklahoma State fans hoped Wednesday night's game would be one to remember.

OSU announced during the halftime ceremony honoring the families who lost loved ones that it would be retiring jersey No. 10 in their honor.

But just like March 5, 2005, when Texas spoiled Senior Day for Cowboys like Ivan McFarlin, John Lucas and Joey Graham with a 74-73 win in their final regular season game inside Gallagher-Iba Arena, Longhorns head coach Rick Barnes did the same Wednesday night.

"It was a very important night. I said all week that the game was secondary, but it was a very important game but secondary to what is really important," Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford said in his postgame news conference. "We talked to our team about it yesterday and I brought them out to the memorial to sit and talk about it.

"As I told them, they're a part of us and still are. It's a great night to honor and celebrate the people who loved this university and gave a lot up for it, and we're doing the same things they were doing every day.

"I'm disappointed we didn't play better for our fans. We had a great crowd. I wish we could have played better because of tonight, and because of the people who lost their lives. We played hard though," Ford added.

The Cowboys, now 14-6 overall and 2-4 in the Big 12, scored just 46 points, the fewest in the 88 games coached by Travis Ford. It was also the fewest points OSU had scored in a Big 12 home game in nearly four years, since losing 66-46 to Texas A&M on Feb. 21, 2007 (a span of 59 games at Gallagher-Iba Arena). Texas improves to 17-3 overall and 5-0 in the conference.

The Cowboys were tied 27-27 with the Longhorns late in the first half before Barnes' team closed on a 7-0 run, including Jordan Hamilton's three-pointer in the closing seconds. Texas then opened the second half with another 7-0 run to push its lead to 41-27, and Ford's team was never able to get closer than seven.

"They just beat us. It didn't have anything to do with what was going on. I wish we could have played better for those people," said OSU senior Marshall Moses, who finished with a team-best 14 points and 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.

"A lot of people took the time to come out for the tribute, but it has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that Texas just beat us tonight in our own gym," said Moses, who scored 12 points in the first half but was held to just two on 1-of-6 shooting in the last 20 minutes.

Jean-Paul Olukemi finished with 13 points and six rebounds, while Markel Brown contributed 12 points and five rebounds.

However, the Cowboys shot just 32.1 percent from the field (their worst game since shooting 28.8 percent against Virginia Tech in November), and Keiton Page was held scoreless while missing all seven of his shots. It was the first in 31 games that Page did not score for the Cowboys, dating back to Feb. 1, 2010 against, you guessed it, Texas.

Moses made seven of the Cowboys' 18 field goals, and the team's shooting percentage would have been 26.8 percent (11 of 41) if not for the senior's production.

"I thought both teams did exactly what the people we were remembering tonight would want us to do, and that is we both came out tonight and competed really, really hard," said Texas head coach Rick Barnes, who had his team wear the commemorative T-shirts that were presented to all in attendance Wednesday during pre-game drills and to the post-game news conference.

"We sat down with our team after the Kansas game and talked to them about coming here. I wanted them to certainly be aware of the situation. I even asked (freshman) Tristan (Thompson), how old are you? He said he is 19. I said, then you were 9 years old 10 years ago when this happened. I wanted them to have reverance for it. I told them the best thing we can do to honor those would be to go win and compete as hard as we could because they were competitors. And I meant that.," added Barnes.

Texas has now won road games inside famed Allen Fieldhouse (breaking a 69-game home court winning streak by the Jayhawks) and historic Gallagher-Iba Arena in the span of four days.

The Cowboys, now losers in four of their last five games, will go on the road Saturday against Texas Tech in hopes of getting back in the win column. The Red Raiders, 10-11 and 2-4, won at Iowa State, 92-83, on Wednesday night.


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