Dec. 22, 2007
STILLWATER, Okla. - Oklahoma State fans walked out of Gallagher-Iba Arena knowing Christmas came early to Stillwater.
Squandering a 14 point second-half lead, OSU held off a furious rally by UT Arlington for a 69-64 win Saturday afternoon.
Down by as many as 14 in the second half, the UT Arlington Mavericks gave Oklahoma State the fight of their lives, using an 18-6 run to tie the game at 55-55 on a Jermaine Griffin free throw with 7:01 left in the game. After a James Anderson 3-pointer with 2:13 left gave OSU a 67-62 lead, Anthony Vereen counter with a bucket with 1:49 left to trim the lead to 67-64.
But UTA, who committed a season-high 22 turnovers, had two miscues in the final minute and a missed lay up by Cardell Hunter to preserve the win for OSU.
"I thought we played extremely hard and I was happy with our defense," said UT Arlington Head Men's Basketball Coach Scott Cross. "I thought (OSU forward) Marcus Dove was the difference. He came up big stop and big stop in the game. He is the best defensive player I've seen this season."
Dove had seven steals in the game and scored five of his eight points in the final 6:00 of the game.
Oklahoma State (6-5) snapped a two-game losing skid with the win. The Cowboys were led in scoring by Anderson with 15 points. Ibrahima Thomas, Obi Muonelo, Terrel Harris and Byron Eaton had 10 each. UT Arlington (8-2) dropped its second game in the week after starting the season a school record 8-0. Rod Epps led the Mavs with a season-high 15 point. The Mavs' leading scorer, Griffin, had his fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Larry Posey chipped in 12 points.
Anderson, who was held scoreless in a 74-59 loss versus Oral Roberts on Thursday, did not make a field goal until the second half. But the McDonald's High School All American converted 7-of-7 at the free-throw line in the final 3:24 of the first half to spark the Cowboys.
In the first half, Eaton scored eight points during a 16-3 run to break a 17-17 tie.
Back-to-back buckets by Posey tied the game with 10:27 left in the first half. But the Cowboys took the lead on a Harris jumper with 9:43 left in the half. Eaton canned two three-pointers to make it 31-20 with 4:38 and Harris converted a lay up for a 33-20 lead as OSU made 5-of-14 three-pointers in the first 16:00.
UT Arlington had a season-high 12 first-half turnovers and OSU converted them into 14 points.
UT Arlington returns to Texas Hall Dec. 29 to meet Hardin-Simmons. Tip off is at 4 p.m.
GAME NOTES: The 42 Cowboys points were the most scored in the first half by an opponent this season.... Griffin moved into ninth place on the career rebounding list at UTA with 561 career rebounds... He surpassed Johnny McDowell (551) and Donny Beacham (560) on the list Saturday... UTA falls to 1-10 all-time against OSU and 0-21 against Big 12 teams sincere their last win over OSU on Dec. 3, 1987.
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