OSU 65-52 Over OU- Big Step Toward Big 12 Title

Oklahoma State head coach Eddie Sutton has paid little attention to all the media talk about his 7th ranked Cowboys being the front runner for the Big 12 Championship, but the Cowboy roundballers made even their coach sit up and take notice tonight with a 65-52 road win at Oklahoma.

The Cowboys had been winning with strong starts in the last two games against Kansas and Baylor, but tonight it was a strong second stanza that led to the O-State bedlam sweep. OU used a physical zone defense to counter an early OSU lead and force 10 Cowboy turnovers on their way to a 27-26 halftime advantage. However, OSU opened up the second half with a quick spurt, that thanks to suffocating defense, turned into a double digit advantage. OSU shot 62 percent from the field the second half while limiting the Sooners to 20 percent shooting on 6-of-30 from the field in the second half.

"The second half we did play well and could have won by a larger margin," said Sutton. "We were just happy to win 65-52. The first half I thought we played well except we turned the ball over 10 times and seven of those were unforced errors. The second half, I had told tham at the half that I thought OU had given us their best shot, I mentioned that to them. We just have to go out there and quit making mistakes. I thought we just came out and played well and limited them to 31 percent shooting on the night and really limited their three point shooting. We out rebounded them. I told the guys that if we are fortunate to go on to win the Big 12 Championship then we give the NCAA Committee reason to give us a very high seed."

John Lucas was the ring leader for Oklahoma State as his second half treys and a crazy little hook shot propelled the run. Lucas finished with 18 points. Ivan McFarlin, who was 10-of-12 from the field, led OSU with 21 points. Joey Graham added 13 points, and Tony Allen had 6 points, five assists, and six rebounds.

"I like stepping up when it's time t step up," said Lucas. "I told myself going into the second half that that was my half. I thought our defense was a really big part of the game and we rebounded well. We knew what they were going to run because our coaching staff did a great job of preparing us with the scouting report."

The Cowboys are now 20-2 on the season and 10-1 in Big 12 play, a full game advantage over second place Texas and two games on Kansas. Oklahoma State will have the rest of the week to ready for Nebraska at 7 p.m. in Gallagher-Iba Arena on Saturday night.

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