OSU beats Texas Arlington, 69-64

Monday, December 24th 2007, 9:49 am
By: News 9

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP)  - During a loss to Oral Roberts on Thursday, James Anderson was held scoreless for the first time this season.

On Saturday, the Oklahoma State freshman hit perhaps the biggest shot of his young career.

Anderson connected on a crucial three-point basket with 2:11 left on the clock as the Cowboys edged Texas-Arlington, 69-64.

Despite shooting 3-of-13 (23 percent) from the field, Anderson finished with a team-high 15 points including a perfect 7-of-7 mark from the free-throw line. OSU (6-5) has won 10 of its last 11 meetings against the Mavericks (9-2).

"We needed to win a game, that's the bottom line," said OSU coach Sean Sutton. "This was an important game from that standpoint. I thought we showed some character in the last three or four minutes on a night where we did not shoot the ball well at all.''

The Cowboys shot 39% from the field and were outrebounded, 46-30.

"Our team has lost some confidence and I think it showed early in the game,'' said Sutton. "We were able to find a way to beat a solid team. By no means is this a Big 12-caliber opponent but it's a solid team that has a chance to win their league. Hopefully that's going to help our guys' confidence.''

An inside basket by junior Anthony Brown gave the Cowboys a 55-45 advantage midway through the second half, but UTA responded with a 10-0 run to even the score.

Sophomore Obi Muonelo sank a three-pointer during OSU's next possession and a layup by senior Marcus Dove put the Cowboys back on top by five. The Mavericks, however, got back within a point, 63-62, when Cardell Hunter hit an open layup with 3:47 remaining.

Trailing 67-64, UTA had one last chance to tie the game, but Rod Epps missed a three-pointer with 24 seconds left. Junior Terrel Harris connected on a pair of free throws with six seconds left to seal the victory.

The Cowboys, who hit 11-of-11 free-throw attempts in the first half, had five players score in double figures. Harris, Muonelo, junior Byron Eaton and freshman Ibrahima Thomas each recorded 10 points.

Eaton had a season-high seven assists while Thomas grabbed nine rebounds. Dove hit all three of his attempts from the field and posted eight points and a career-high seven steals.

"I think the difference in the game was Marcus Dove,'' said UTA coach Scott Cross. "He's a phenomenal player, he just came up with stop after stop when the game was on the line. He's probably the best defensive player I've seen in the country.''

For the Mavericks, Epps led the way with 15 points, while Griffin and Larry Posey scored 14 and 12 points, respectively. Griffin also led UTA with 12 boards.

The Cowboys jumped out to an 8-2 lead but UTA recorded nine straight points and took its biggest lead of the game, 11-8, after a three-pointer by Epps. OSU went on a 10-3 run later in the period and held a 42-30 advantage at halftime.