Cowboys Shine In Madison Square Garden

NEW YORK CITY - The Oklahoma State Cowboys – who broke into the Top 25 at No. 22 on Monday – showed they belonged there with their best performance of the season to defeat 21st-ranked Syracuse 72-68 in front of a hostile Madison Square Garden crowd Tuesday night. The Cowboys improved to 10-0 with Mario Boggan (21 ponts), JamesOn Curry (20) and Obi Muonelo (11) leading the way.

Stat line of the game: Mario Boggan: 9-14 FGs, 0-4 3FGs, 3-4 FTs, 21 points, 8 rebounds (4 offensive), 3 steals, 2 assists, 2 turnovers.

Player of the game: It would be easy to say it was Boggan, who scored 15 of his team-high 21 points in the first half. Or it could easily be Curry, who had a big three-pointer with 22 seconds remaining and two free throws with just 5.4 seconds on the clock. But we're going to give it to Marcus Dove, who was playing at only about 75 percent after missing the previous two games with a knee sprain but had some big-time plays in the second half to key a 9-0 run during a three and a half minute stretch to put the Cowboys up 67-54. The 6-9 junior threw down an alley oop from Terrel Harris and just seconds later made the steal and went the length of the floor for another thunderous slam which quieted the pro-Syracuse crowd. Dove finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals (although he also had 4 turnovers) in 18 minutes.

The game was over when …: Curry made two free throws with 5.4 seconds remaining in the game to give the Cowboys the four-point margin of victory. The Cowboys appeared to have complete control of the game when Mario Boggan's drive into the lane for his 20th and 21st points of the night gave his team a 67-54 lead (their largest of the game). But the Cowboys went cold and began turning the ball over while Syracuse pulled within 67-66 with 49 seconds remaining. After an OSU timeout Curry hit a big three-pointer from the top of the key with 22 seconds left for a four-point lead. Paul Harris pulled the Orangemen within two by making two free throws with 11 seconds on the clock, but Syracuse was forced to foul Curry on the in-bounds play. He calmly sank both free throws as the Cowboys improved to 10-0.

Quote of the game: "The last time we came to Madison Square Gardens two years ago I didn't get to play, so it really feels good. I was really missing being out there with my teammates the last two games. This is a huge step (for this team). We felt confident all week preparing for them. We felt confident we could get in their zone and do some things. We got a feel for them and we knew we could get inside their zone and get some easy shots and that's what we did." – Marcus Dove

Next: 6 p.m. (Central time), Saturday, Dec. 9, vs. Ball State in the San Diego SLAM.

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