Anderson Scores 29 In Cowboy Debut

STILLWATER – Sean Sutton has said for several months that freshman James Anderson has a chance to be one of the best players to ever wear the orange and black. The Oklahoma State player proved it Friday night – scoring a first-game record 29 points – in OSU's 104-48 victory over Prairie View A&M at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Anderson broke the scoring record for an OSU player making his debut set by Amos Thomas with 28 points in 1968. Thomas, however, was a sophomore because freshmen were not eligible to play at that time.

Anderson also tied the all-time freshman scoring record of 29 points set by Byron Houston against Kansas State on Jan. 25, 1989.

The Junction City, Ark., freshman finished with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field - after missing his first three shots - and was 4-of-7 from the free-throw line. He also added five assists and three steals in his 30 minutes of playing time.

"James had an unbelievable game," Cowboy head coach Sean Sutton said. "If we get a few more guys like him things would be a lot easier sitting over there.

"That's why I've said he's going to be a special player. He's got a chance to maybe be the best player that we've ever had at Oklahoma State," Sutton said. "He's not your typical player. He's got a knack for scoring the ball but at the same time it's unbelievable how unselfish he is.

"I mean he led our team in assists tonight too, only has one turnover, and has three steals, and does it in 30 minutes. I mean you don't see seniors put up those kind of numbers."

Anderson missed the first three shots he attempted in the game and didn't score until 5:27 remained in the first half. But over the next 10 minutes of play - the final 5:27 of the first half and the first 4:16 of the second - he was unstoppable.

He scored 11 points during the final 5:27 of the first half and came out to begin the second half with back-to-back layups and then nailed a pair of three-pointers. He went from zero points to 21 in the blink of an eye.

"I looked up there (at the scoreboard) in the first half and he had two points. The next time I looked up he had 21," Sutton said.

"He's got a great feel for how to play, and he's just a big-time, big-time talent. I was really pleased with all of our freshmen. I thought all of them played with more confidence and more poise tonight."

Anderson was joined in double figures by two other freshmen - Ibrahima Thomas and Martavius Adams both scored 11. Sophomore Obi Muonelo finished with 16 points and six rebounds, while point guard Byron Eaton contributed 12 points and seven steals (tying his career high in a single game).

The Cowboys were outstanding on defense, recording a school record 12 steals in the first half (and finished with 18, one shy of the school mark). They forced the Panthers into 36 turnovers, the most by an OSU opponent in school history.

OSU plays again Wednesday night when the Cowboys travel to Denton, Texas, to play North Texas.

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