Other Guys Cowboy Up In Victory

STILLWATER, Okla. - Mario Boggan led the Cowboys in scoring with 17 points and nine rebounds. JamesOn Curry had his usual performance (14 points), at least in the second half, but it was a couple of the youngest Cowboys that stood up and were counted as Oklahoma State had to fight back from a very slow start against Iowa State in front of another packed house in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The Cowboys moved their record to 18-3 on the season, 4-2 in Big 12 play, with a 62-50 win over the Cyclones on Saturday night.

This story has to be told in chronological order as it started with the Cowboys cold from the field, sloppy in execution and Iowa State not a lot better. However, a 9-0 Cyclones run put them out in front 13-4 midway through the first half. That is when sophomore guard Terrel Harris picked the Cowboys up with 11 points in the first stanza. Harris' offensive effort combined with stingy defense the rest of the half cut the Iowa State lead to 23-17 at intermission.

"Basically, I just let the game come to me and I tried to get some defensive energy going for us," said Harris. "Then I kind of got my offensive game going and once I had that I just kept shooting it. I had told myself I was in a slump (the last two games), and that I had to bounce back because my team needs me."

"Terrel probably played his best game since we've been in the Big 12, coming off his worst game against Oklahoma," said head coach Sean Sutton. "He was the only thing we had going on the offensive end in the first half."

Sean Sutton must have had a whale of a halftime message, perhaps borrowing one of his dad's "do better" talks as the Cowboys came out and started the second half with a 12-0 run to take the lead at 29-23.

"There were a few choice words that I don't think my mom or my wife would have been happy with," joked Sutton. "They seemed to work. I just told them that this was an important game and that if they wanted to win the Big 12 and get into the NCAA Tournament that this was a game they had to win."

"Coach came in and really got on us," said Boggan. "He said that was maybe the worst half of defense that we had played and that the offense was almost as bad with only one person (Harris) scoring. We just went out the second half and tried to play defense and once the defense was there everything else fell into place."

The other Poke youngun, sophomore Kenny Cooper, tied the game on a put back at 23-23. Boggan gave the Cowboys the lead on a lay in at 25-23, a Curry lay in made it 27-23, and the run ended when Harris picked off a Cyclone pass on the defensive end and hit Curry on the break. He took it all the way in and Iowa State was guilty of goaltending. Oklahoma State led 29-23.

"Defense leads to offense and once we get a couple of defensive stops then that is the way we play," added Harris. "The power play of the game that is really what got JO (Curry) going when he caught that oop."

The Cyclones, who dropped to 11-9 and 2-4 in Big 12 action, had some fight left, but it was the "other Cowboys" that played a major role in putting them away for the night. After the Cyclones Mike Taylor hit back-to-back three-pointers to cut the OSU advantage to 40-36, Harris answered with a three of his own to stabilize the situation. It was followed less than a minute later by a monster rebound by Cooper and a short jumper to put the Cowboys back up by nine.

"When you are feeling it that is the kind of stuff you can do," Harris said of his three point answer.

"My role on this team is to rebound and defend," said Cooper. "If they pass it to me I can look to score but my main focus is rebounding and defense."

"He (Cooper) is going to be a beast," said Boggan. "He is getting better every day at getting offensive rebounds and all kinds of put backs. He just needs to keep his intensity and he is just going to get better."

The Harris and Cooper duo combined for 10-of-14 from the field and and 28 points. Harris had 21 of those. The pair also had eight rebounds and Harris the one steal that led to the Curry bucket. Their contributions ruined Iowa State's plan.

"We just focused on Boggan and Curry," said the Cyclones Rashon Clark. "We felt if we did that we could keep the game close, but it didn't end up working out for us."

"Both those guys have continued to improve and get better this year," said Sutton of Harris and Cooper.

Iowa State never really threatened after the six-minute mark and the Cowboys were home free to a full week off from the rigors of the Big 12 before they go on the road next Saturday to Colorado with Bedlam on the road the middle of the next week.

Sutton felt it is a good time to have a full week between games. He had promised the team that if they won and played well that he would give them two days off in a row instead of the usual one. The decision was close, but thanks in big part to Harris and Cooper there will be two days off this week for the Cowboys.

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