OSU's Masked Man Steps Up

Terrel Harris may have looked different when he entered the game against Baylor just a few minutes into play Saturday. But the Oklahoma State sophomore, sporting a mask to protect an eye injury for the first time this season, was just as effective as he has been all season in helping the 12th-ranked Cowboys to a 81-77 victory over the Bears at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The 6-5 Harris entered the game at the 16:45 mark of the first half and it didn't take long for him to get noticed – and not because of the mask! On his first touch of the game, he pulled up and knocked down a 15-foot jumper to put the Cowboys up 8-6. Just a minute later, he drove to the basket and banked a shot off the glass while taking a hard foul from Baylor's Tim Bush. He sank the free throw for the three-point play.

Harris, who sat out Tuesday night's win over Southwestern Oklahoma State after receiving the injury in a non-sports related manner, finished with 13 points, three rebounds and two steals in just 23 minutes of play. It is the 11th time this season that he scored in double figures.

Mario Boggan and Byron Eaton said in the postgame news conference that Harris has earned himself a new nickname with the mask. His Cowboy teammates said that Harris was being called Phantom of the Opera and Face Off when he first donned the mask for practice.

"The main one, and the one we're going to stick with, is Hollow Man," Eaton said with a laugh.

"Yeah, he's Hollow Man right now," Boggan chipped in.

Harris has been the Cowboys' most effective three-point shooter through the non-conference portion of the season, hitting 50 percent (23 of 46) from behind the trey. The mask didn't seem to bother him against the Bears as he took just two three-pointers, and made one.

"I thought he played really well," Cowboy head coach Sean Sutton said. "There was a little concern that he might be a little timid and not be as aggressive as he normally is but I was really proud of him and how hard he played and competed.

"I thought scoring a couple baskets early probably helped his confidence wearing the mask for the first time. It did not seem to bother him much at all. He did not turn it over, scores 13 points and gets three rebounds, and made three of those four free throws late. I was really pleased with him," Sutton continued.

Boggan summed it up best when he said, "I don't think he's in that much pain. The way he played it didn't look like he was in too much pain."

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