Freshman Curry Shines In First Career Start

JamesOn Curry made the most of his first collegiate start on Sunday afternoon in Boulder, Colo., as the freshman scored 22 points to help the ninth-ranked Cowboys defeat the Colorado Buffaloes 104-86 at the Coors Event Center.

Curry, who entered the game averaging 5.8 points, scored 16 points in the second half as the Cowboys pulled away from the Buffaloes after leading just 52-50 at halftime. Curry teamed with point guard John Lucas to make 10 of the Cowboys' 13 three-pointers in the game. Curry was 6-of-8 from three-point range while Lucas was 4-of-6 from behind the arc.

Lucas led all scorers with 26 points but four other Cowboys – including Curry with his 22 – were in double figures. Ivan McFarlin scored 17 points and added nine rebounds, Joey Graham contributed 14 points and nine rebounds, and Daniel Bobik (who was 3-of-4 from behind the three-point line) chipped in 13.

OSU improves to 15-3 overall and 5-2 in the Big 12 with the win, which is the Cowboys' first in Boulder since 1996. Colorado saw its record drop to 10-8 and 2-5.

"I thought it was the best offensive performance that we've had in a long, long time," OSU head coach Eddie Sutton said. "Offensively, this is the best we've scored. We had 36 baskets and had 24 assists, and only turned the ball over 10 times. I'm really pleased.

"JamesOn had his best offensive performance. I told him before the game just to play like you did back in North Carolina when you were back in high school. He's potentially a great scorer, and he has six assists and no turnovers. John also had six assists and no turnovers, so that's 48 points, 12 assists and no turnovers from our backcourt. That's an awesome performance."

In the first half the Cowboys shot 59.4 percent from the field, and made 6-of-13 three-pointers, but they only led the Buffaloes 52-50. That's because Colorado was even hotter than OSU, making 11-of-15 three-pointers. CU freshman Richard Roby scored 15 points in the first half as he made 5-of-5 from behind the arc. It was a different story in the second half, as Roby had just two points and missed the only two three-pointers he attempted.

"We just didn't do a good job of covering the three-point shooters," Sutton said of the Buffaloes who finished 17-of-28 (60.7 percent) on three-pointers. "(The first half) was a good example of letting a team hit three or four and then the basket starts looking as big as the Atlantic Ocean."

OSU's lead was still just 65-61 with 14 minutes remaining but then the Cowboys turned it on. Joey Graham's conventional three-point play, Curry's three-pointer and Ivan McFarlin's two free throws put the Cowboys ahead 73-61. The Buffs kept fighting back and pulled with seven on another three-pointer with 10 minutes remaining.

Once again the Cowboys went on a run, outscoring the Buffaloes 9-0 in a two-minute stretch to go back up 87-71. Lucas nailed a three-pointer, Terrence Crawford hit a free throw, Lucas scored on a layup after a phenomenal steal and assist from Curry, and Curry's three-pointer from the corner all but put the nail in the coffin.

"At least this gets us started back in the right direction after the way we played against Oklahoma Monday night," Sutton said. "To beat anybody in the Big 12 by 18 points you played pretty well."

Joey Graham broke the Big 12 record for most consecutive free throws when he made a pair with 14:36 left in the game. The two freebies were the 36th and 37th in a row for Graham, who bettered the mark of 36 previously held by Hollis Price of Oklahoma. Later in the game Graham had an opportunity to tie the OSU school record of 40 set by Arlen Clark during the 1958-59 season. Graham went to the line for two free throws with 2:35 left in the game, and made the first for his 39th consecutive make but then he missed the second.

OSU returns to action Wednesday night when the Cowboys host Kansas State at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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