Cowboys Hook the Horns

JamesOn Curry knows better than anyone the pain and embarrassment that Eddie Sutton must have endured the past 10 days. But the Oklahoma State sophomore was determined to win one for the 69-year-old Sutton on Sunday afternoon and did his part in leading the Cowboys' 81-60 upset of the sixth-ranked Texas Longhorns inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The Cowboys, huge underdogs to the same Longhorn team they had lost to by 34 points just four weeks ago, played their best game of the season to end a three-game losing streak and improve to 14-12 on the season and 4-8 in the Big 12. Texas fell to 22-4 and dropped the Longhorns into a first-place tie with Kansas in the Big 12 at 10-2.

Eddie Sutton, who earned the 795th win of his Division I coaching career on Sunday, addressed the team by speakerphone immediately after the victory.

"My dad got a chance to watch the game (on television) and he wanted to make sure to tell them how much he loved them and how proud he was of the effort they displayed today. The type of team that we saw today reflects what an Oklahoma State team is all about," said OSU associate head coach Sean Sutton.

"I know they were very excited to hear his voice, and to hear his praise of how well they had played. Not only that, we had a lot of special visitors in the locker room (after the win) – Coach (Mike) Holder and President (David) Schmidly were in there. Mr. Boone Pickens came in and got a chance to visit with the guys, and Governor (Brad) Henry came in.

"It was a great day for our players, and a great day for our program. I am extremely, extremely proud of these guys," Sean Sutton continued. "We needed this. I think our fans needed it (and) our student body needed it, but our players needed it the most. They had had three or four great days of practice. They knew the type of team they could be when we work and do the type of things we talk about. We kept telling them if you keep this same attitude, keep this same mindset, good things happen when you work and you'll be rewarded, and that happened today with a great win over a terrific basketball team in Texas."

Curry, the sophomore guard who was terrible in the nationally televised 34-point loss to Texas on Jan. 23 (4 points on 1-of-8 shooting and 6 turnovers), played like a man possessed – and that's probably because he was playing for Eddie Sutton. The Cowboy guard finished with 22 points (18 in the second half), a career-high 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal.

Curry had just four points on 2 of 5 shooting in the first half as the Cowboys built a 31-20 halftime lead. He made the Cowboys' first basket of the second half and wasn't stopped the rest of the way. He scored 18 points in the second half on 6 of 9 shooting.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," Curry said. "We played with great confidence. The thing I saw on the court today that I haven't seen a lot this whole year was smiles. Everybody was smiling, and having fun. It was an unbelievable victory."

The Longhorns, who shot a season-low 33 percent from the field and were outrebounded by the Cowboys (37-34) after outrebounding their last four opponents by an average of 18 per game, pulled within 40-33 on back-to-back baskets by Kenton Paulino and LaMarcus Aldridge with 12:54 remaining in the game.

But the Cowboys – behind the play of junior David Monds – went on a 15-4 run over the next five minutes to go up 55-37, and the 9,053 Cowboy fans inside Gallagher-Iba Arena were ready to begin celebrating. The 6-foot-8 Monds scored seven consecutive points – including the first three-pointer of his career – to get the run started. He scored 13 points in the second half, and finished with 17 (tying his season and career high set against Jackson State in the second game of the season). It was easily the best game of Monds' career for the Cowboys (17 points on 6 of 8 shooting, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 19 minutes of play).

"(Coach Sutton) said the win helped with the pain in his back," Monds said of Eddie Sutton. "He told me how this was one of the greatest wins of his career. He told us he loves us, and we love him so much. We're just praying that God keeps his angels on him."

Mario Boggan also scored in double figures for the Cowboys, finishing with 17 points and 6 rebounds.

Oklahoma State is back in action on Wednesday night when the Cowboys travel to Ames, Iowa, to face Iowa State.

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