Cowboys Impressive In 49-Point Victory

STILLWATER – Obi Muonelo says nothing the Oklahoma State Cowboys do on the basketball court surprises him after what he sees each day in practice. The OSU junior had to like what he saw Saturday afternoon when the Cowboys scored the fifth-most points in a game in school history en route to a 122-73 victory over Northwestern (La.) State in front of 6,381 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Muonelo was one of four Cowboys to score 20 or more points as the Cowboys scored 66 first-half points – just one shy of the school record set in 1998 – while shooting 60 percent from the field for the game and 51.7 percent from behind the three-point line. OSU tied the school record for most three-pointers made in a game with 15 for the second time in just 13 games under first-year head coach Travis Ford.

The Cowboys improved to 10-3 with the win, while Northwestern State saw its record fall to 8-7.

"With Coach Ford and his offense, we do that every day in practice," said Muonelo, who recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 22 points and 12 rebounds. "We are used to that. When we see that many points on the board we are like, ‘Are we really scoring that many points?' We play like this during practice."

James Anderson led the Cowboys' high-scoring attack with 27 points in just 29 minutes of play, while Terrel Harris contributed 23 points and 9 rebounds, Muonelo added his 22 points and 12 rebounds, and freshman Keiton Page tied his career high with 21 points.

It was just the second time in school history that four OSU players scored at least 20 points in the same game. Anderson, Harris, Muonelo and Page equaled the mark set by Brooks Thompson, 33; Bryant Reeves, 27; Fred Burley, 24, and Randy Rutherford, 23, against Providence on Nov. 25, 1993.

Both the Cowboys and Demons were red hot to begin the game, and the two teams were tied 18-18 with a little more than 13 minutes remaining in the first half. But that's when the Cowboys took control as they scored 48 points in the last 13:04 of the first half to take a commanding 66-39 lead.

"Offensively, it was one of the best halves of basketball we've played," Ford said of his team which shot 66.7 percent from the field (20 of 30) and 61.5 percent from beyond the three-point arc (8 of 13) in the game's first 20 minutes.

The 66 points in the first half was one shy of the school-record 67 points the Cowboys scored against Houston Baptist on Dec. 15, 1998.

"Getting four players with over 20 points is good," Ford said. "It's good that we're sharing the basketball. I thought Terrel played one of his better games. Obi continues to do what Obi does.

"It was good to see Byron (Eaton) have a good second half because he didn't play but eight or nine minutes in the first half. Keiton woke up after a slow start. It was good to see we made our shots. But we have to improve defensively and rebounding. We have to improve those two areas because shooting can come and go, and we can't depend on it."

The most excitement in the second half took place when Ford and Northwestern State head coach Mike McConathy had to be separated at midcourt by the officials after getting into a verbal exchange.

Michael McConathy, the Northwestern State head coach's son, was called for his second intentional foul of the game on OSU's Malcoln Kirkland, who retaliated by throwing the ball into the Demon point guard's chest. Kirkland was called for a technical foul.

But while Kirkland was shooting his two foul shots the two coaches met at halfcourt and referee Michael Eggers had to separate the two. But Ford continued to shout at McConathy as the two head coaches went back to their respective benches.

"I'm a competitive person and that's just one of those things that happens in competitive athletics," said Ford, who captured the 200th win of his college coaching career with the victory.

But even though the Cowboys were up 92-52 after both Kirkland and McConathy made their two free throws, the OSU head coach immediately reinserted starters Byron Eaton and Terrel Harris into the lineup.

"He's a tough guy," Muonelo said of Ford. "Everybody knows that he's not going to let anybody push us around."

"I think our coach's swagger is rubbing of on us. The more we win, the more confidence we have with this offense and this system. I think we just have to play with an extreme amount of confidence. If we play this offense with confidence, we will get results," said Harris, who came within one rebound of recording the first double-double of his career.

Oklahoma State closes out its nonconference schedule Tuesday night by hosting Savanna (Ga.) State at Gallagher-Iba Arena, and then the Cowboys begin Big 12 play next Saturday against Texas A&M.

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