Big Monday Turns Into Black Monday

STILLWATER – This was not the Big Monday that OSU fans envisioned when the 2005-06 basketball schedule was released last year. No one could have ever imagined that it would have turned into Black Monday. Eddie Sutton announced earlier Monday that he would be taking a leave of absence following last week's automobile accident. Then it got even worse as the Cowboys were outscored by 18 points in the final 10 minutes as 22nd-ranked Kansas rolled to a 64-49 victory at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Oklahoma State, now 13-12, lost its fourth consecutive home game for the first time since the 1987-88 season. It was the fifth loss this season at Gallagher-Iba Arena, the first time a Sutton-coached Cowboy team has lost more than four games in a season since he became head coach in 1990-91.

But the Cowboys – despite turning the ball over 24 times and shooting less than 38 percent from the field – led the Jayhawks 42-39 with 10 minutes to play on Mario Boggan's three-point play after a steal and lay up. But KU would score the next eight points and never looked back en route to the Jayhawks' eighth consecutive victory.

"I thought we played very well the first 32 minutes. The last eight minutes we made some costly mistakes on the offensive end and had some defensive breakdowns where we could not stop their post players," Cowboys associated head coach Sean Sutton said.

"I'm very proud of our players. Under the circumstances they were faced with, they kept a positive attitude throughout the day. They played with a lot of energy and great effort. It was a tough day."

Cowboy sophomore Marcus Dove said, "I think we were up three late in the game and we had a couple turnovers. That is something we have to work on because it seems like it happens every game. We are up late in the game, we make a few turnovers, they go on a run and we can't stop them."

Kansas, now 18-6 overall and 9-2 in the Big 12, won despite shooting 40 percent from the field and turning the ball over 20 times. The Jayhawks scored 25 points in the final 10 minutes after managing to score just 39 in the first 30 minutes of play.

"Neither team got into much of a rhythm," KU coach Bill Self said. "The defenses were good, and I thought OSU physically controlled us in the first half. Fifteen turnovers in a half – or course, they had 13 – but still it was ugly there for a while."

The Cowboys trailed 35-34 in the second half before going on an 8-4 run to take a three-point lead. JamesOn Curry and Terrel Harris both hit driving lay ups, Torre Johnson added a free throw, and Boggan's three-point play gave OSU a 42-39 lead with 10:10 remaining. But it all turned KU's way the final 10 minutes of action.

OSU will attempt to break the four-game home losing streak but it won't be easy when the sixth-ranked Texas Longhorns make the trip to Stillwater for a nationally televised game Sunday afternoon. The Longhorns beat the Cowboys 80-46 in Austin on Jan. 23.

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