Eaton, Harris Seek Redemption In Norman

Byron Eaton and Terrel Harris have been living the charmed life the past four weeks. The Oklahoma State seniors just hope it continues Saturday when they lead the Cowboys into Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., a place they have not won during their collegiate careers. But nothing would be sweeter than a victory over the fourth-ranked Sooners in the final regular season game of their careers.

Bedlam Showdown Eaton, Harris Seek Redemption In Norman The Cowboys have lost by the scores of 64-61 (last season), 67-60 (during the 2006-07 season), and 67-66 (when both Eaton and Harris were freshmen) in their games against the Sooners in Norman. Eaton and Harris are a combined 1-6 vs. the Sooners during their careers, including an 0-3 record in Norman, since arriving in Stillwater in 2005.

Oklahoma State, 20-9 overall and 9-6 in Big 12 play, has never entered a Bedlam matchup with the type of momentum it will have Saturday afternoon. The Cowboys were struggling along a month ago, sitting at 14-9 overall and 3-6 in conference play after suffering an embarrassing 25-point loss to the Texas Longhorns in Austin, Texas.

But the Cowboys, behind the play of Eaton, Harris and sophomore James Anderson, have not lost since that defeat to the Longhorns on Feb. 10.

Eaton is averaging 14.7 points and 3.8 assists while shooting 83.3 percent from the free-throw line during the Cowboys' six-game winning streak. He has gone to the free-throw line 54 times (an average of nine times a game) over the last six games, including making 15-of-15 from the charity stripe in OSU's win over Kansas State on Tuesday night.

In the six wins, Harris is averaging 15.3 points while shooting 51.7 percent from the field, 39.3 percent from behind the three-point line, and 79.2 percent from the charity stripe.

Anderson, the 6-foot-6 sophomore, has shown over the past four weeks why NBA scouts are looking forward to the day he is eligible for the draft. He is averaging 22.2 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 47.1 percent from the field, 45.0 percent from three-point range, and 81.2 percent from the free-throw line during the winning streak.

However, the Lloyd Noble Center has not been the favorite place for Eaton or Harris the past three years. In the three losses to the Sooners, Eaton is averaging 12.7 points and 4.0 assists while shooting just 41.4 percent from the field (12 of 29).

Harris has scored just eight points in Norman, being held scoreless in two of the three games, including not scoring a single point in 27 minutes of play during last season's 64-61 loss. In his three games in Norman, he is shooting just 25 percent from the field, 33 percent from three-point range, and 25 percent from the free-throw line.

Cowboy fans remember Eaton's costly foul of OU's Terrell Everett with 0.6 seconds left on the clock during his freshman season. The Cowboys had taken a 66-65 lead on Jamaal Brown's two free throws with 4.7 seconds left in the game, but then Eaton was whistled by referee Jim Burr for a blocking foul just as Everett crossed midcourt with just six-tenths of a second showing on the clock. Everett hit both free throws to give the Sooners the one-point win.

But none of that will matter if the Cowboys can capture the win in front of a national television audience (ABC-TV) on Saturday afternoon.

Many believe that first-year head coach Travis Ford's team has already secured a berth in the NCAA Tournament with its play the last four weeks, but a win over the Sooners (26-4 overall and 12-3 in the Big 12) would put to rest any doubt. There's nothing Eaton and Harris would enjoy more.

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