Basketball: Cowboys Suffer First Loss

OKLAHOMA CITY – Gonzaga head basketball coach Mark Few calls the Oklahoma State half-court defense the best in college basketball. If that's the case then the 12th-ranked Bulldogs must have the best half-court offense in the nation.

Gonzaga torched the third-ranked Cowboys on Tuesday night by shooting 57 percent from the field en route to a 78-75 victory in the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic before a pro-OSU crowd of 18,202 at the Ford Center.

The loss was the first of the season for the Cowboys, 9-1.

"In lieu of all the adversity we had tonight I think this ranks right up there with any (victories) we had in the regular season," said Few, who has had some pretty impressive victories in his six years as head coach at Gonzaga. "(Oklahoma State is) a national championship caliber team."

But the Cowboys didn't look that way against the Bulldogs, who are now 10-1 with their only loss being to No. 1-ranked Illinois.

John Lucas hit back-to-back three-pointers to open the game to give the Cowboys a 6-4 lead but that would be the only time Oklahoma State would lead. Gonzaga went on a 16-4 run over the next four and a half minutes to go up 20-10. The Bulldogs stretched the lead to as many as 12 in the first half before going in at halftime up 48-39.

Gonzaga stretched the lead to 57-41 early in the second half and the Cowboys were faced with an uphill fight the remainder of the game.

OSU pulled within 10 on Daniel Bobik's three-pointer with 11:22 remaining. The Cowboys still trailed by 8 (73-65) with 5:30 left but then went on an 8-0 run to tie it up. Stephen Graham hit a three-pointer, Joey Graham added a free throw, Stephen came back with a fast break layup and Ivan McFarlin scored from inside to tie it 73-73.

After Ronny Turiaf gave Gonzaga a 75-73 lead, Stephen Graham tied it up with 1:59 remaining. Adam Morrison's basket with 1:39 gave the Bulldogs the lead for good. Morrison added a free throw with 53 seconds remaining, and the Cowboys couldn't convert on their next two trips down the court.

John Lucas, who was 3-of-12 from three-point range, had his last second three-point attempt blocked by the 6-foot-10 Turiaf.

"They really exposed us inside," said OSU head coach designate Sean Sutton. "Their guys played with more poise, they were tougher physically and tougher mentally."

Morrison led the Bulldogs with 19 points, while the inside trio of J.P. Batista (6-9), Sean Mallon (6-9) and Turiaf (6-10) combined for 39 points and 14 rebounds. Batista, whose previous season high had been 10 points, score 18 on 8-of-9 shooting from the field. Mallon added 11 while Turiaf, playing with an ankle sprain, contributed 10.

The Cowboys shot a dismal 29 percent from three-point range (9-of-31) just one game after setting a school record with 15 treys against Northwestern Oklahoma State. Lucas (3-of-12) and Bobik (2-of-9) were a combined 5-of-21 from behind the arc.

Stephen Graham led the Cowboys with 22 points while Lucas finished with 19.

Oklahoma State returns to action on Monday night when it goes on the road to play at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

GoPokes Top Stories