Cowboys Celebrate Ford's 40th

Tuesday night turned out to be special for Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford. His Cowboy basketball team picked up its 11th victory of the season, and his children surprised him by singing "Happy Birthday" at midcourt at the conclusion of OSU's 66-50 victory over Pacific at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The Cowboys improve to 11-1 with the victory and will go for win No. 12 on Saturday afternoon – at the same time as the OSU football team is playing Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl – against Rhode Island in Uncasville, Conn.

Oklahoma State senior Obi Muonelo and junior James Anderson made sure that Ford will remember his 40th birthday fondly as they combined for 47 of the Cowboys' 66 points Tuesday night. Muonelo scored a season-best 22 points, while Anderson added 25.

"This was a great way to celebrate my birthday," Ford said after the victory. "It feels good when you win."

It appeared that the Cowboys would roll to an easy victory in playing their first game in nine days because of the Christmas break. Keiton Page's three-pointer just a little more than three minutes into the game gave OSU a 7-4 lead, and started a 36-12 run.

Oklahoma State shot 53 percent from the field in the first half, and played the type of defense that Ford likes to see in holding Pacific to 27.8 percent (5 of 18 shooting), to build a 40-16 halftime lead.

"I never would have dreamed that we'd be up like that at halftime," Ford said. "But we saw the true Pacific team in the second half. I knew they were going to make a run at us."

The Cowboys still lead 46-26 following Ray Penn's three-pointer with 15:22 left to play, but then the Tigers went on a 14-1 run over the next five minutes to pull within 47-40.

That's when Anderson took over. After a Cowboy timeout, he was fouled and made one of two free throws. He drained a three-pointer from the corner on OSU's next trip down the floor, and suddenly the lead was back up to 51-40. The closest Pacific would get the rest of the way was 55-45.

In addition to scoring 47 of the Cowboys' 66 points, Anderson and Muonelo also combined to make 14 of OSU's 20 field goals, six of the team's nine three-pointers, and 13 of the squad's 17 free throws.

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