Cowboys Impressive In Blowout Win

STILLWATER – Mercer entered Gallagher-Iba Arena Wednesday night with a reputation of being a giant killer under first-year head coach Bob Hoffman. But Oklahoma State made sure they did not join the likes of Auburn and Alabama as victims, as six Cowboys scored in double figures en route to a 104-74 victory over the Bears in front of a Gallagher-Iba Arena crowd of 4,823.

Mercer defeated both Auburn and Alabama of the Southeastern Conference on their home courts last month, and lost in overtime to Georgia Tech of the Atlantic Coast Conference after leading by 18 points.

But the Cowboys, now 7-3, would not allow the Bears to make a game of it, forcing 25 turnovers and using four different scoring runs (14-0, 7-0, 7-0 and 9-0) en route to the victory in what first-year head coach Travis Ford called the best game his team has played this season.

"This might have been the one game this year where we had several guys really play well," said Ford.

James Anderson was one of six Cowboys to score in double figures, leading the way with 20 points in just 23 minutes of play. He was 6-of-8 from three-point range, tying his career high for three-pointers in a game.

Obi Muonelo (19 points and 3 steals), Terrel Harris (18 points, 7 steals and 5 assists with no turnovers), Keiton Page (13 points and 3 steals), Byron Eaton (12 points and 8 assists) and Malcoln Kirkland (10 points) also had outstanding games for the Cowboys.

"Obi played well, Keiton played well, James played well, and Terrel played well. If we have three or four guys bring their A-game then we're pretty good. Our problem is that we've been very inconsistent doing that at times, but tonight I thought a few guys brought their A-game," said Ford.

The Cowboys trailed early before applying the defensive pressure that forced Mercer into 25 turnovers, which they converted into 41 points.

"We were just basically manhandled tonight. They took it to us," said Mercer head coach Bob Hoffman, who previously coached at Southern Nazarene University, Oklahoma Baptist University and the University of Oklahoma. "We couldn't get into any of our sets. We had a little bit of fear of that going in."

Hoffman was not surprised that the Cowboys shot 43.8 percent from three-point range (14 of 32), and made 20 of 21 free throws.

"They're great shooters," he said. "They basically came down, we couldn't guard them one-on-one, so when we helped, they were really good at kick outs and that's what they've done a great job of living on all year.

"We've played a lot of good people and played a lot of tough places but tonight they just got us. Tonight we weren't very good but that's because Oklahoma State was very, very good," Hoffman added.

The Cowboys will be back in action Saturday night when they face Rhode Island in the All-College Classic at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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