Longhorn Freshman Makes Cowboys Pay

Number 23 was at his best Monday night in front of a season-high crowd of 11,096 at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Oklahoma State's James Anderson was unstoppable in the first half as he scored 24 points of the nationally televised showdown with Texas. Unfortunately for Cowboy fans it was another No. 23 in Texas freshman Jordan Hamilton who lit it up in the second half as Texas rallied for a 72-60 victory.

As hot as Anderson was in the first half – he made 8 of 9 shots from the field, including making all three of his three-point attempts, and 5 of 6 free throws – it was the 6-foot-7 Hamilton who took over the game following halftime.

The Texas freshman played just two minutes in the Longhorns' overtime loss to Baylor on Saturday, and entered the game averaging 8.5 points per game. But the Los Angeles native was as good as OSU's Anderson was in the first half as he finished with a career-best 27 points, including scoring 18 in the second half – 13 in a row at one point - as the Longhorns dominated the second half, outscoring the Cowboys 40-24.

Oklahoma State is now 16-6 overall and 4-4 in Big 12 play. Texas, which had lost three of its last four after climbing to No. 1 in the polls, improves to 19-3 and 5-2.

The Cowboys' No. 23 finally ran out of gas in the second half after scoring 24 of his team's points en route to a 36-32 halftime lead. After missing his first shot of the game and then making eight in a row while playing 17 minutes in the half, Anderson made just two of eight shots in the second half and missed all three of this three-point attempts. He still finished with a game-high 28 points but it wasn't enough.

"In the first half he was dominating the game. It's not like we wanted anybody else to shoot. I mean we had to let him keep doing his thing. We rode him as long as we could in the first half," OSU head coach Travis Ford said of Anderson.

"We put too much pressure on him (in the second half). I think he got a little tired in the second half. He was a little fatigued and that's not his fault, but me. We've just got to get him a little bit of help.

"At halftime I told our guys, now James isn't going to be able to do this by himself. Somebody else is going to have to step up. He's not going to go out and have 24 points again. They're not going to let him do that. So who else is going to step up? The guys tried," Ford added.

As a matter of fact, the Texas bench outscored the OSU bench, 40-2. And while only two Longhorns reached their scoring averages Monday night – and it wasn't Damion James (18.2 ppg but had just 14 against the Cowboys), Avery Bradley (12.2 but had 10) or Dexter Pittman (12.0 but had 2) – it was Hamilton who was the difference in handing the Cowboys their first loss inside Gallagher-Iba Arena this season.

What did the Cowboys know about Hamilton entering the game? "That he played two minutes against Baylor," said OSU senior Obi Muonelo. "That's what I knew about him. He played two minutes in their last game."

Ford said, "He played two minutes last game. We say (we didn't know that he could score like that) but then we have seen him go off. We did know that each time he touched it he was going to shoot it, every single time he touches it he's going to shoot it. We know that. We talked about that but a great team like Texas can pick and choose your weapons. Let's try him and see how he does. Rick does a great job of managing those players and they played really well tonight."

The Cowboys shot 56.5 percent from the field in the first half but only 36.7 percent in the second half. Anderson's only real help came from Matt Pilgrim with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Obi Muonelo with 12 points.

The Cowboys get a much needed break after Monday night's game, which was their third in five days. OSU doesn't play again until traveling to Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday to face Texas Tech.

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