Cowboys Return To Court

Oklahoma State's basketball team will return to the court Sunday afternoon – after having this past week off for final exams – when its plays host to the Mercer Bears, 1-3, inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. Tip-off for the game, which will be televised in Oklahoma, is scheduled for 3 p.m.

The Cowboys, 6-3 after losing their last two games, are returning to the court for the first time since a heartbreaking 64-62 loss to ninth-ranked Gonzaga a week ago Saturday (Dec. 10) in Seattle. It will be OSU's first home game since a shocking 68-64 loss to Northwestern State (La.) on Monday, Dec. 5, which broke the Cowboys' 44 game home nonconference winning streak dating back to December of 1998. It was just the second nonconference loss inside Gallagher-Iba Arena in 107 games in Eddie Sutton's 16 years as head coach of the Cowboys.

The Cowboys will be looking for some consistency on the offensive end of the floor. Five different players have led the team in scoring in the last five games – Mario Boggan vs. Gonzaga, Jamaal Brown against Northwestern State, JamesOn Curry vs. SMU, Torre Johnson against UNLV, and David Monds vs. Boston College.

Curry, the lone returning starter off last season's Sweet 16 team, has struggled with his shot through the first nine games of the season. He is shooting just 36 percent (36 of 100) from the field and has made just 13 of 34 (38.2 percent) from three-point range. Even his free throw shooting (14 of 23 for 60.9 percent) has not been what the Cowboy coaches expected. But he continues to contribute in other ways – leading the team with 45 assists, including a career-high 10 against Gonzaga and Detroit.

Boggan, a junior college transfer from Chipola (Fla.) College, and Johnson, from Garden City (Kan.) Community College, lead the Cowboys in scoring. Boggan is averaging 13.1 points and is tied with David Monds for the team lead with 5.7 rebounds a game. He also leads the team in field goal percentage (60.8 percent). Johnson averages 11.2 points while playing just 21 minutes a game. Curry, despite his shooting slump, is averaging 11.0 points while Monds contributes 10.6 points.

Mercer is led by sophomore guard Jacob Skogen who is averaging 21.3 points per game. Also scoring in double figures for the Bears is 6-10 senior forward Will Emerson (14.3 points and 5.5 rebounds). The Bears are coached by Mark Slonaker, who has a 96-137 record in this his ninth season.

The game will be televised on KTFO-UPN TV-41 in Tulsa, KSWO (cable only) in Lawton, and on Fox Sports Southwest in Oklahoma City, Stillwater and the southern half of the state.

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