Cowboys Fall To Sooners

STILLWATER – In Eddie Sutton's first 15 years as head coach of the Oklahoma State basketball team his Cowboys lost just 21 games, and never suffered more than three losses in a season. But the 2005-06 season is unlike any Sutton has experienced sitting on the sideline at Gallagher-Iba Arena, and it was no different Wednesday night as 20th-ranked Oklahoma defeated Oklahoma State 73-65. It was the Cowboys' fourth loss at GIA this season, and their third consecutive loss on their home court.

"I think we got outplayed. Oklahoma played better than we did," Sutton said after watching his Cowboys lose for the fourth time in the last five games to fall to 13-10 on the season and 3-6 in the Big 12. "They were a little tougher than we were. I do not think we played with the intensity that our teams from the past have played. That is why I say I think they outplayed us."

The Cowboys, who have now lost four home games for the first time since the 1987-88 season when they lost five in Leonard Hamilton's second season as head coach, now face a daunting task to finish Big 12 play without a losing record. They must win five of their last seven games ¬– which includes games against Kansas (15-6), No. 6 Texas (20-3) and a trip to Oklahoma (15-5) - to break even at 8-8.

"I don't think the defeats hurt this team as much as the other teams here," Sutton said. "I have told these guys all year long that we are a very soft basketball team in my opinion. We are not as tough as the teams in the past that I have had here. Maybe some of that is youth, but toughness shows up on the boards and on defense. When I say ‘toughness,' I'm not just talking about physical toughness, but (also) mental toughness. This is the softest team in 16 years that I have ever coached."

Mario Boggan's basket just 40 seconds into the game gave the standing room only crowd of 13,611 plenty to cheer about, but that was one of the few chances Cowboy fans had to make noise in the first half. OSU made just three more field goals in the first half, and went nearly 11 minutes (from JamesOn Curry's three-pointer with 16:51 on the clock until Boggan's basket with 5:59) without a basket. The Sooners outscored the Cowboys 12-2 to break open the game, and OSU would get no closer than four points the rest of the night.

"The first half, I thought we played well enough defensively," Sutton said as the Cowboys trailed 26-17 at halftime, "but the ball did not go in the hole. When you cannot hit shots, that just puts more pressure on the team."

The Cowboys trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half before rallying late to make the score respectable.

"We lost. There is not a whole lot more you can say," OSU point guard Jamaal Brown said. "We did not execute on offense. We could not hit shots. We also did not rebound and we fouled them too much. When you do that it is hard to win."

Curry led the Cowboys with 20 points (on 7 of 13 shooting), while Boggan contributed 18 and Byron Eaton finished with 13.

OSU will look to get back in the win column on Saturday as the Cowboys travel to College Station, Texas, to face Texas A&M. The Cowboys defeated the Aggies 79-77 earlier this season at home.

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