Cowboys Win With Sutton Back On Bench

STILLWATER – Eddie Sutton was back on the bench Sunday afternoon and the Oklahoma State Cowboys looked like a totally different team. The Cowboys struggled to defeat Texas-Arlington in the season opener Friday night with Sutton absent because of back pain, but it was a different team that showed up Sunday afternoon as Oklahoma State whipped overmatched Jackson State 94-53 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in a first-round game of the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational.

Mario Boggan scored a game-high 18 points and added eight rebounds, while David Monds had career highs of 17 points and nine rebounds as the Cowboys built a 20-point halftime lead and never looked back. Three other Cowboys – Kenny Cooper (12 points), Roderick Flemings (11) and JamesOn Curry (10) – also scored in double figures.

"We liked our effort a lot better today," OSU head coach designate Sean Sutton said. "I thought we were more ready to play. I thought we certainly played with more awareness and a lot more intensity on the defensive end, (and) we rebounded the way we expect to."

Eddie Sutton, who has been battling back problems for the past 12 months, was forced to watch Friday night's season opener on television from home. But he was in his normal place on the bench Sunday afternoon.

"Having him here is always easier on the players. I think they were more at ease, more relaxed knowing that he was here," Sean Sutton said of his dad. "He was pleased with the way we played. It was hard on him the other night to have to sit at home and watch that. He was disgusted by the performance."

Monds was also disgusted, especially by his performance (no points and no rebounds in nine first-half minutes). The junior did not play in the second half against Texas-Arlington because of his attitude and poor play on the court.

"(The) last game I was kinda mad at myself," Monds said. "I had a bad first half and my mom came all the way from Georgia, and I didn't get a rebound in 10 minutes so I was down on myself real hard. She told me, ‘I came all the way from Georgia and all you can get is one rebound.' That's why I was mad at the game because I knew I was going to hear it after the game. She chewed me after coach (Sean) Sutton."

"I had a great practice last night, so I came out today and just gave it all I had and played hard."

But Monds wasn't the only one getting chewed out after the 9-point season-opening win. The Cowboys, however, responded to the coaching staff's challenge against Jackson State.

The Cowboys' goals Sunday afternoon were:
1) to win by at least 30 points (they won by 41)
2) hold Jackson State to 33 percent shooting (they shot 34 percent)
3) limit the Tigers to 25 percent from the three-point line (they made 36 percent)
4) outrebound the smaller Tigers by 20 (the margin was 51-22)
5) force Jackson State into 25 turnovers (they finished with 22)
6) hold the Tigers to 50 points or fewer (they scored 53)

"I thought they accepted our challenge," Sean Sutton said.

The Cowboys' next challenge is Tuesday night when they face Detroit in a second-round game of the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational at Gallagher-Iba Arena, before traveling to Las Vegas for games Friday (against Texas Christian) and Saturday (vs. either Boston College or Drake).

GoPokes Top Stories