Cade Cunningham scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half, including the go-ahead basket and clinching free throws, to lead Oklahoma State over Arkansas 81-77 on Saturday.
The game featured the first collegiate meeting for two of the nation’s top freshmen in Cunningham (17.9 points per game) and Arkansas’ Moses Moody (16.5), who were high school teammates. Cunningham was in his first game action since Jan. 12. Since then, OSU postponed two games because of COVID-19 protocols and Cunningham sat out two more after that.
Cunningham’s jumper with 21.3 seconds remaining gave the Cowboys (11-4) a 79-77 lead. After the Razorbacks’ Connor Vanover missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key, Cunningham got the rebound and sank two free throws with 3.8 seconds left.
Cunningham was 7-of-13 shooting and added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Kalib Boone added 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting with 12 rebounds and three blocks, Avery Anderson III had 13 points and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe 11.
Justin Smith scored 18 points, Moody added 17, JD Notae 13 and Davonte Davis 12 for Arkansas (13-5).
OSU was only up by four at halftime despite outshooting Arkansas 55% to 41% and holding a 26-15 rebounding edge. But the Razorbacks took 10 more shots with the Cowboys committing 15 turnovers. OSU had only four turnovers in the second half.
The game included a “Remember the Ten” tribute in memory of the 10 persons killed in a charter plane crash while returning from an OSU game at Colorado on Jan. 27, 2001. Two players were killed along with other members of the OSU program. The coach of that squad, Hall of Famer Eddie Sutton, who died last May, was also remembered by both teams with special warmup shirts. Sutton led both Arkansas and Oklahoma State to Final Four appearances.