Cowboys, Curry Roll

STILLWATER – Freshman JamesOn Curry is not the finished product, but what Cowboy fans saw Tuesday night in an exhibition game against the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) left them longing for more. Curry was one of five Cowboys to score in double figures as Oklahoma State, ranked seventh in the Associated Press preseason poll, rolled to an easy 113-59 victory at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The 6-foot-3 freshman scored 17 points in just 24 minutes of action in his Cowboy debut. He was 6-of-9 from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, had three rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Joey Graham led the Cowboys with 19 points, while John Lucas and Ivan McFarlin each chipped in 18 and Stephen Graham added 10.

Curry entered the game at the 16:56 mark of the first half with the Cowboys trailing 7-4. OSU rallied to tie it 12-12 and went ahead when Joey Graham found Curry wide open in the corner. The freshman drained the 3-pointer – his first shot ever as a Cowboy – to give OSU a 15-12 lead, which it would not relinquish. The Cowboys extended their lead to 23 at halftime with Curry leading the way with 14 first-half points.

"JamesOn is somebody who is a very gifted player," said OSU head coach designate Sean Sutton. "He has a great feel for how to play the game. He needs to work on his defense, but for his first night, I thought he was pretty good."

"I think JamesOn is giong to be a great player for this team, and hopefully he'll keep it up," Joey Graham said.

Sutton said the coaching staff was disappointed in the Cowboys' first-half performance despite going in with a 54-31 lead.

"The first half we came out and did not play with a lot of passion, did not play with a lot of intensity," Sutton said. "The second half was obviously a lot better. But, overall, if you're going to be criticial of anything it starts with defense. Defensive lapses – not containing, not getting through screens, not rotating on baseline drives are all things we'll go back tomorrow and continue to work on." "From an offensive standpoint, other than the free-throw shooting (17 of 26) and the 18 turnovers, I thought we played pretty well in the second half.

"This team has got to make a lot of improvement. They certainly, in our opinion, are not one of the 10 best teams (in the nation) right now."

Another player who pleased Sutton was Lucas, who did not start but came off the bench for an impressive performance (4-of-4 from 3-point range, eight assists, six rebounds and just two turnovers in 27 minutes).

"We didn't start him to send him a message. We felt the last three or four days in practice he has not run our basketball team the way expect him to," Sutton said. "Tonight, he did. We told him this is what we expect."

Aaron Pettway, the 6-foot-10 transfer from Hutchinson (Kan.) Junior College, didn't get on the floor until the second half but left a favorable impression. He finished with five points, three rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal in just eight minutes of action.

"That's the best we've seen him play," Sutton said. "We haven't seen that type of energy out of him for quite a while, but that's the player we envisioned when we recruited him."

The Cowboys second and final exhibition game is scheduled against EA Sports on Saturday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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