Cowboys Hold Off Bears

STILLWATER – Mario Boggan and David Monds combined for 38 points and 15 rebounds as the Oklahoma State Cowboys closed out the regular season with a 79-76 victory over Baylor on Saturday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Cowboys wrapped up the seventh seed and will face 10th-seeded Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament beginning Thursday.

Boggan scored 25 points and Monds contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds – his third double-double of the season – as the Cowboys scored their last 10 points from the free throw. OSU, now 16-14 overall, finishes Big 12 Conference play tied with Kansas State, Texas Tech and Iowa State with a 6-10 league record. But the Cowboys ended up No. 7 in front of Texas Tech (No. 8), Kansas State (No. 9) and Iowa State (No. 10) due to the conference tiebreakers.

The Cowboys will play 10th-seeded Iowa State (16-13) at 6 p.m. Thursday at American Airlines Arena in Dallas. The Cowboys, if they defeat Iowa State on Thursday, will then face either Texas, Kansas or Oklahoma (whichever finishes as the second seed following Sunday's Texas-OU game) on Friday with the tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Cowboys needed every one of Boggan's 25 points, especially his two free throws with 17.2 seconds remaining for a 79-74 lead. But it was his 13 points in the first half that kept them close despite shooting just 30.8 percent from the field. The Bears, who lost to the Cowboys 66-48 on Jan. 14, led 40-31 at halftime and it would have been more than nine points if not for Boggan.

OSU opened the second half with a 19-4 run ¬– Jamaal Brown hit two three-pointers, Monds scored six consecutive points and freshman Terrel Harris added four points – to go up 50-44 with 12:36 left in the game. But the Bears would not quit, and eventually took a four-point lead with less than seven minutes to play.

JamesOn Curry and Monds each hit free throws to make it 64-62, but Boggan came up with the play of the game while pressuring 7-foot Mamadou Diene at midcourt. Boggan knocked the ball away, dribbled behind his back and found a streaking Terrel Harris for the dunk, which not only tied the game but got the Cowboy crowd back into it.

The Cowboys eventually took the lead on Byron Eaton's driving lay up and free throw – going up 67-65 – with 3:03 remaining. Curry's jumper a few seconds later made it 69-65 and the Cowboys stretched the lead to 75-67 with 39 seconds remaining. The Bears clawed back with a couple late baskets but could get no closer than three.

"This was a big win for our team," said Cowboy head coach designate Sean Sutton. "We needed to win this one. We have lost so many close ones this season. You always want to win on senior night, too."

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