USA Today Sports

Jeff Newberry Helps Oklahoma State Escape Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Jeff Newberry's first-career double-double (19 points and 12 rebounds) helps Oklahoma State improve to 2-0 with Monday night's 86-72 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Travis Ford may have been celebrating Thanksgiving about 10 days early. He should be thankful for senior Jeff Newberry, whose first double-double of his career helped Oklahoma State survive a scare from Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Monday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The 6-2 senior from Atlanta finished with 19 points and a career-best 12 rebounds as Oklahoma State held on for an 86-72 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Newberry was joined in double figures by Jawun Evans (13 points), Chris Olivier (13), Phil Forte (10) and Mitchell Solomon (10). But the Cowboys had to use a 15-6 run to open the second half to pull away from the Golden Lions after leading only 32-31 at halftime.

"Jeff Newberry was phenomenal," Ford said. "He was a big reason why we won this game. His stats are great, and what he did defensively was great. He was basically the only guy out there guarding anyone. We had some guys who just didn't play well tonight, but Jeff Newberry carried the load. He did a tremendous job. [Chris] Olivier also did some good things."

Newberry said, "I feel like JUCO Jeff again. I feel like I'm going out there and having fun and I'm not worrying about coming in that first year and making a mistake. I'm going out there and having fun playing ball and doing what my team needs me to do."

The Cowboys improve to 51-3 in non-conference home games under Ford with the win but Arkansas-Pine Bluff was within eight points with under four minutes to play.

"We played like we practiced yesterday, that's the bottom line. You always get a feel for a team, and I've had teams that had a terrible practice the day before but gone out and played great in the game. With this team so far, when we've practiced well, we've played well. When we haven't practiced well, we haven't played well," Ford said. "That's something that we're learning about our basketball team."

"You've got to give them a lot of credit. They were a tough matchup for us. They put four, sometimes five guards on the court, and they exposed us off the dribble a lot. We've got to learn from that. We went through some foul trouble, and then Leyton Hammonds couldn't play in the second half, so we had to go with some lineups that weren't necessarily normal for us. We pieced it together, though, and we did some good things in the second half. As I told our team, we could have played better, but in today's game of college basketball, it's good to get a win. It's good to get out of here with a win and move on from it.”

OSU, 2-0, plays Towson State, 1-1, in a first-round game of the Charleston Classic at 1 p.m. Thursday (Central time). The Cowboys will face either Ole Miss or George Mason in a second-round game on Friday.


GoPokes Top Stories