Cowboys Defeat MU; Eddie Wins No. 767

STILLWATER – If there was any doubt that Eddie Sutton should be mentioned in the same breath with Henry Iba it was put to rest Tuesday night. Sutton, the 68-year-old head coach of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, tied his former head coach and mentor for seventh most wins in NCAA Division I history when the sixth-ranked Cowboys defeated Missouri 78-68 before a sold-out Gallagher-Iba Arena crowd of 13,567.

The victory gives Sutton 767 career victories – 337 during his 15 years at OSU – to tie Mr. Iba for seventh place. Sutton can pass Mr. Iba when the Cowboys host Iowa State on Saturday in Stillwater.

"Mr. Iba would be thrilled because he was a teacher, and I think the greatest credit that can be given is when somebody that you coached or taught does well," said Sutton, who pointed to the sky as he walked off the court after the win to acknowledge Mr. Iba, who passed away 12 years ago.

Sutton has a chance to move into the top five on the all-time coaching victories list by the end of the season. He now trails current New Mexico State head coach Lou Henson by 12 wins and retired Lefty Driesell by 19 victories. The Cowboys have 14 regular season games remaining, could play three in the Big 12 Tournament and will then be invited to the NCAA Tournament.

Sutton, as expected, did not make a big deal of tying Mr. Iba's record. The OSU players did not know about it until after the game when Gallagher-Iba Arena public address announcer Larry Reece acknowledged the accomplishment.

"I had no idea until they made the announcement at the end of the game," said Cowboy point guard John Lucas. "Coach Sutton didn't say anything to us about it. I think Coach is one of those coaches who doesn't get caught up in breaking records."

The Cowboys were able to get the victory – and give Sutton his 767th win as a Division I coach – because they dominated the final 10 minutes of play. Missouri led 52-51 with 10 minutes remaining but the Cowboys played the type of basketball that would have made Mr. Iba proud the rest of the way.

It certainly made Sutton proud.

"I think the last 10 minutes we played really well, other than allowing a couple of treys and fouling (Linas) Kleiza," Sutton said.

Stephen Graham hit two free throws to put the Cowboys up 53-52 – a lead they would not relinquish – and JamesOn Curry followed it up with a three-pointer from the wing. The Graham brothers – Stephen with 9 points and Joey with 7 – would combine to score 16 of the Cowboys' final 27 points.

OSU made 26 of 29 free throws in the game, including 10 of 11 in the final seven minutes. Joey Graham was 13-of-13 from the charity stripe while Stephen Graham made 7 of 8.

Joey Graham scored a season-high 27 points and added a team-high nine rebounds. John Lucas added 18 points while dishing out five assists and committing just one turnover in 37 minutes of play. Stephen Graham also was in double figures with 13 points.

Kleiza, who also was 13-of-13 from the foul line, led the Tigers with 24 points and six rebounds.

OSU, 12-1, has now avenged both of its Big 12 Conference losses from a year ago. The Cowboys won the Big 12 regular season title by going 14-2 last season but lost to Texas Tech and Missouri – the two teams they have opened conference play against with victories this year.

The Cowboys will attempt to get Sutton's 768th career win against Iowa State on Saturday. Game time is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

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