Oklahoma St. 79, Northwestern St. 76
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP)—JamesOn Curry and Mario Boggan each scored 22 points to help Oklahoma State hold off a second-half rally by Northwestern State in a 79-76 win on Wednesday night.
Northwestern State (1-1) rallied from a 19-point deficit late in the first half to take the lead with 22-5 run shortly after halftime. Cody Bargeman scored eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, during the surge and Jerry Moody put the Demons ahead 55-54 when he put back Marcellas Ross’ missed 3-pointer.
Oklahoma State pushed back for a 67-60 lead on Boggan’s two-handed dunk, but the Demons answered again when Trey Gilder hit a 3-pointer and then converted a steal into a dunk to tie it at 69.
But Gilder then missed two free throws and Northwestern State was unable to score on back-to-back possessions to let the Cowboys (2-0) take control again.
Boggan and freshman Obi Muonelo had back-to-back layups off assists from Curry to put Oklahoma State in front 73-69, and the lead reached five after two free throws from Muonelo with 2:39 remaining.
The Demons got back within 78-76 on Kennan Jones’ driving layup with 55 seconds to play and had a chance to tie it after Boggan hit only one of two free throws. Jones’ awkward shot from the right side missed and the Cowboys grabbed the rebound to prevent Northwestern State from upsetting them on their home court for the second straight season.
Bargeman scored 19 and Moody and Eric Woods each added 10 off the bench for the Demons, who ended a 44-game home winning streak against nonconference foes with a 68-64 win at Gallagher-Iba Arena last year. That Demons squad eventually made it to the NCAA tournament and upset third-seeded Iowa in the first round.
Only one starter returned from that team, which held Curry scoreless last year.
Curry scored 10 points during a 16-5 run that put the Cowboys up 31-17 with about 5 minutes to play in the first half. The lead reached 47-28 when Curry set up a basket by Marcus Dove, but the Demons started to rally after that.