Cowboys Suffer Disappointing Loss

Oklahoma State is among the nation's best Division I teams in scoring offense (14th in the country) and field goal percentage (ranked 15th), but none of that mattered to the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday. The Cowboys scored just 29 points in the first half and shot just 38.2 percent and didn't look like the 12th-best team in the Associated Press poll as Colorado upset OSU 89-77 in Boulder, Colo.

Oklahoma State entered the game 18-3 and had a week off following last Saturday's win over Iowa State to prepare for Colorado, which had won just five games this season and was 1-7 in Big 12 Conference play. The Cowboys have now lost all three of their road games this season (the other two being to sixth-ranked Kansas and No. 10 Texas A&M).

The Cowboys started slow and the Buffaloes built their lead to 44-29 at halftime, and pushed it to as many as 17 in the second half. But JamesOn Curry's conventional three-point play pulled OSU within 76-70 with 3:04 remaining in the game, and the Cowboys had a chance to cut it to three points moments later when Terrel Harris had a three-pointer from in front of the OSU bench bounce off the rim. The Buffaloes would close it out by outscoring the Cowboys 13-7 the rest of the way, and made 11 of 12 free throws down the stretch.

"That's as bad of loss as we've had in the 11 years we've been in the Big 12," Cowboy head coach Sean Sutton said. "That's not to take anything away from Colorado because their kids played hard today and they deserved to win. I told (our players) afterwards that right now they guys can't handle success. That's the bottom line. Our good teams in the past would rise to the occasion when the opportunities were out there. This was really a must win if we wanted to win the Big 12, and we didn't get it done.

"That's the thing that's most frustrating to this staff is we talked all week long, and talked over and over and over, about the importance of this basketball game," Sutton continued. "They can't say that they weren't warned. It was brought up every day, the importance of this game, the importance of winning a game on the road, the importance of having to win this game from an RPI standout. Colorado, let's be honest, doesn't have a very high RPI (238th in the nation). I told (the players) that if they think they're in the NCAA Tournament, they're fooling themselves. There's a lot of work to be done. We're 4-3 (in the Big 12) at this point and we need to win at least six more games."

Curry led the Cowboys with 20 points while point guard Byron Eaton finished with a career-best 19 points. Mario Boggan finished with 17.

But it was a disastrous first half which led to the Cowboys third Big 12 road loss.

"We had opportunities early. We missed a lot of easy shots and we did not play defense the entire night," Sutton said. "They went on a run right before halftime and brought great momentum to their team and got up 15. When you're on the road and playing catch up, you're asking for problems. I've talked over and over again about the importance of having a good start and playing with poise and confidence on the road. Right now this team just doesn't have it."

OSU, 18-4 overall and 4-3 in Big 12 play, will be looking to get its first road win of the season when the Cowboys travel to Norman, Okla., to try to sweep Oklahoma in the annual Bedlam rivalry. The Cowboys defeated the Sooners 66-61 on Jan. 22

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