Anderson, Cowboys Win Fourth In A Row

There's good news and bad news for Oklahoma State basketball fans. The good news is James Anderson is playing the best basketball of his career since arriving as a McDonald's All-American. The bad news is he won't be around much longer if he keeps it up because the NBA will come calling. The 6-foot-6 sophomore was outstanding Wednesday night in helping OSU to a 76-55 victory over Colorado.

Anderson recorded his second double-double in the last 11 days, scoring a game-high 30 points and pulling down 10 rebounds to help the Cowboys to their four consecutive victory. The win moved them into a tie for fifth-place in the Big 12 with Kansas State. OSU improves to 18-9 overall and 7-6 in conference play with the victory.

"I didn't expect to win by 21 against a team, to be honest with you is tough to beat by 21 with their style of play," OSU head coach Travis Ford said. "One thing is we wanted to get off to a good start and I thought we got off to a great start. And then we wanted to hold down their two best players, (Cory) Higgins and (Dwight) Thorne who averaged most of their points.

"I thought our defensive effort tonight, and our rebounding, were very, very good."

The Cowboys got off to a blistering start thanks to Anderson, who scored the team's first six points (on a pair of three-pointers) and was responsible for 11 of OSU's first 14 points as the Cowboys raced out to a 14-6 lead in the game's first eight minutes.

"James Anderson is playing great basketball right now, as well as a lot of players on our team," Ford said. "I think our guys have really bought into the philosophy as far as defense and rebounding and how important it is to our basketball team.

"I think guys are really understanding their roles and guys are really accepting ... we may put them in situations that they may not be comfortable in but guys are worrying about just trying to be successful right now, and that's a good attitude to have," Ford continued.

The win sure changes things for a team that just two weeks ago was 3-6 in Big 12 play and had been written off by many people. Now, the Cowboys are tied with K-State for fifth in the conference race and have a chance to shake things up even more when they host fourth-place Texas on Saturday at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Here are the current Big 12 standings:
Kansas...12-1 (23-5)
Oklahoma ... 11-2 (25-3)
Missouri ... 11-2 (24-4)
Texas ... 8-5 (19-8)
Kansas State ... 7-6 (19-9)
Oklahoma State ... 7-6 (18-9)
Texas A&M ... 6-7 (20-8)
Nebraska ... 6-7 (16-10)
Baylor ... 4-9 (16-11)
Iowa State ... 3-10 (14-14)
Texas Tech ... 2-11 (12-16)
Colorado ... 1-12 (9-18)

How good has Anderson been for the Cowboys during the last five games? Well, he's averaging 27.2 points and 8.0 rebounds, while shooting 48.7 percent from three-point range (19 of 39) and 81.4 percent from the free-throw line (81.4 percent).

The sophomore from Junction City, Ark., was 6-of-8 from behind the three-point line against the Buffaloes, while finishing with the second double-double of his OSU career. He has now scored 20 or more points in five consecutive games, including a career-best 35 points against the Texas Longhorns on Feb. 10 in Austin.

But Anderson was not a one-man show against Colorado. Keiton Page finished with 12 points, Terrel Harris contributed 10 points, four rebounds and three assists, and Byron Eaton added eight points, five assists and a career-best nine rebounds. Don't forget about Marshall Moses, who finished with eight points and nine rebounds.

"The moment any player on our team starts worrying about how many points or rebounds, or how many minutes they're playing, then our team will take a step backward. So we have to keep a positive attitude, and Marshall has that attitude," Ford said. "He understands that if he goes out and works hard that he can be an overachiever because he is only 6-4 or 6-5 and he's playing that center spot for us, so he's got a lot to make up for. But with his work ethic and his heart, he's really made up for it."

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