Basketball: Cowboys Win

STILLWATER – Let the game's begin. That's the feeling of the members of the Oklahoma State basketball team following their second and final exhibition game of the season. The OSU coaching staff, however, may have other ideas after watching the Cowboys defeat Global Sports 80-63 on Saturday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

"I thought the first 17 minutes we played pretty well," said Cowboy head coach designate Sean Sutton. "It was 38-17, and after that point I thought we got sloppy and didn't play with the same intensity that we played early in the game with.

"Certainly it showed defensively. It showed in rebounding. We gave up 17 offensive rebounds to this team. this is a better test for us than Tuesday night (against USAO). We played against better players. They did a good job of exposing some of the weaknesses that we have on our team right now."

Joey Graham led the Cowboys with a game-high 18 points in 22 minutes of play. John Lucas and freshman JamesOn Curry each added 15 points, while Ivan McFarlin contributed eight points and eight rebounds.

The Cowboys looked like the seventh-ranked team in the nation (where they are ranked in the preseason Associated Press poll released last week) during the first 17 minutes of the game. Global Sports' Calvin Clemons' conventional three-point play with 9:39 on the clock pulled the traveling team to within 20-15.

But OSU, behind the play of Terrence Crawford, went on a 18-2 run over the next five minutes to take control of the game. Crawford scored the first eight points in that stretch, while Joey Graham (five), Lucas (three) and Marcus Dove (two) also pitched in.

"I think the thing we were most disappointed in tonight was the lack of intensity, the lack of passion in the second half," Sutton said. "We gave up easy points, yet it didn't seem to bother our guys, and that's something that we're going to have to get corrected starting Monday."

One area that the Global Sports team – comprised of former college players – exposed was the Cowboys' lack of an inside game. McFarlin scored eight points but the other post players (Frans Steyn, 3 points and 2 rebounds; Aaron Pettyway, 2 points and 0 rebounds, and David Monds, 0 points and 1 rebounds) contributed just five points and 3 rebounds. Monds played just five minutes and Pettway just three.

"I just don't think our inside guys have developed as fast as we had hoped. That's something that's been frustrating to our staff," Sean Sutton said. "Right now, if this team doesn't score in transition or on three-point shots, we've having a difficult time scoring.

"They pounded the ball inside against us, they attacked us on the glass. I didn't think we were as lively, certainly in the second half, as we were (against USAO) Tuesday night."

Lucas says the Cowboys, after a month of practicing against each other and two exhibition games, are ready to begin the regular season.

"The opponents we played today are more like what we're going to see in the Big 12 and Syracuse with the inside game, the size and the presence of the big people they have," the Cowboys' point guard said. "This was more like a game that we're going to play throughout the whole season.

"I think we handled it good for the beginning of the season, but when Friday comes that's when the season really starts."

OSU opens the season Friday against Northwestern State at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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