Cowboys Can't Stop Griffin, Sooners

STILLWATER – Travis Ford is probably wishing that Oklahoma's Blake Griffin was like the thousand of Oklahoma State fans from across the state who were unable to make the trip to Gallagher-Iba Arena Monday night because of the icy conditions after watching the All-American finish with 26 points and 19 rebounds in leading the sixth-ranked Sooners to a 89-81 victory.

The Cowboys never led in the nationally televised game as the Sooners became the first Division I team in the nation to record 20 victories this season.

Oklahoma State is now 13-6 overall and 2-3 in Big 12 play, while Oklahoma improves to 20-1 and 6-0 in league games.

Griffin, the 6-foot-10 All-American who will likely be the first player in the NBA Draft this summer, only scored six points in the first half but he had 20 of the Sooners' 50 points in the final 20 minutes of play. He single-handedly outrebounded the Cowboys – grabbing 19 boards compared to OSU's 18.

The Cowboys used three different post players – 6-8 Malcoln Kirkland (no points and no rebounds), 6-6 Marshall Moses (no points and four rebounds) and 6-8 Anthony Brown (four points and three rebounds) – in an attempt to slow down the Sooner standout. They had little success as Griffin missed more free throws (going 8-of-13 from the foul line) than he did field goals (9 of 10).

The person who had the most success against the Sooners was OSU freshman Keiton Page, who took just one shot and was held scoreless in the first half but helped the Cowboys rally from a 14-point, second-half deficit to pull within one point.

The 5-10 freshman and the Cowboys used some torrid three-point shooting in the second half to get the Gallagher-Iba Arena crowd estimated at 10,500, mostly OSU students, into the game. The Sooners led 51-37 with 16 minutes to play when Page scored six points in a row – four free throws and a basket.

Four three-pointers – by four different players (Byron Eaton, Terrel Harris, Page and Nick Sidorakis) – pulled the Cowboys within 61-59 with less than 10 minutes to play. They then had a chance to take the lead but a Sidorakis three-pointer bounced off the back of the rim.

The Cowboys would pull within 64-63 a few minutes later on two Eaton free throws, but the Sooners' Austin Johnson drilled a wide-open three-pointer and the Cowboys never got a chance to go ahead again.

OSU point guard Byron Eaton finished with a team-best 20 points and nine rebounds, while Page, Obi Muonelo and James Anderson each contributed 15 points.

Oklahoma State goes to College Station, Texas to face Texas A&M on Saturday. The Cowboys defeated the Aggies, 72-61, in Stillwater on Jan. 10.

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