Cowboys open Big 12 with huge win over No. 22 Tech
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP)—Travis Ford kept imploring Oklahoma State’s players to quit standing around and start running the offense. Once James Anderson got going, the Cowboys couldn’t be stopped.
Anderson scored 25 of his 28 points in the first half and Oklahoma State surged past No. 22 Texas Tech on its way to an 81-52 victory Saturday night.
Anderson, the Big 12’s scoring leader, had 16 points during a 29-1 charge in the first half that turned a six-point deficit into a commanding 44-22 lead for the Cowboys (13-2, 1-0 Big 12). He also hit a 3-pointer to finish a string of 10 straight points for OSU to put the game out of reach at 73-45 with 6:10 to play.
“When we couldn’t score, we just kind of said, ‘All right, James. We’re just going to kind of jump on your back and you carry us,”’ said Ford, OSU’s head coach. “And we were wearing him out a little bit.”
Anderson was 8-for-12 and hit four 3-pointers as Oklahoma State built a 17-point halftime lead. The Red Raiders (12-3, 0-1) never got closer than 13 after that.
“They made their run, so we had to make our run and I was just feeling it,” Anderson said. “It was one of those nights, and my teammates kept finding me.”
Ray Penn and Obi Muonelo each added 12 points and reserve Matt Pilgrim had 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals as Oklahoma State won its fourth straight Big 12 opener. Muonelo also had 10 rebounds.
Mike Singletary scored 13 points and David Tairu had 10 points off the bench for Texas Tech, which had its lowest scoring total of the season and committed a season-high 21 turnovers. John Roberson, Tech’s second-leading scorer with a 13.9-point average, was held scoreless for the first time this season on 0-for-5 shooting.
Tech coach Pat Knight opened his postgame comments by requesting that reporters ask him about the Red Raiders’ plans to hire Tommy Tuberville as their new head coach on Sunday instead of the game.
“I really don’t know what to tell you. We thoroughly just got whooped after the first 8 minutes,” Knight said. “I really believe my team is a lot better than what they showed tonight. This isn’t the same team that was 12-2 in the preseason.
“I think we had some guys satisfied and actually some guys scared. That’s the part about being in the Big 12. It’s a nasty league and an unforgiving league, and tonight was one of those nights where it was pretty unforgiving.”
The Red Raiders had been one of the surprises in the conference after finishing 11th in the Big 12 last season and getting picked near the bottom of the league in the preseason. Instead, they rolled into the Top 25 on the strength of an upset of Washington in nonconference play.
Then they arrived at their house of horrors and lost for the seventh straight time in Stillwater.
Texas Tech scored the first six points of the game and opened a 16-7 lead before Anderson started bringing the Cowboys back with a 3-pointer and a three-point play on consecutive possessions.
He then hit back-to-back 3-pointers to spark Oklahoma State’s huge run and had 21 of the team’s first 27 points, including a steal that led to a right-handed, fast-break dunk. The Red Raiders went more than 8 minutes between baskets as their deficit kept growing.
“God, everything just went bad for us,” Knight said.
When Muonelo was asked if he could remember a similar spurt for the Cowboys, he came up with one immediately: OSU outscored Tech 21-2 in one second-half stretch while denying Knight’s father, Bob Knight, his 900th win two years ago at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“The only thing that got us going was we started creating turnovers and got some deflections, and the turnovers led to easy points,” Ford said. “And then that gave us great confidence even on the other end. … Things just kind of snowballed from there.
“We’re not obviously 30 points better than Texas Tech, by no means. It was just one of those nights. It can happen to anybody.”
Oklahoma State’s Marshall Moses returned after a one-game suspension following his arrest on a marijuana possession charge and played only 10 minutes while picking up four fouls.
“Obviously, Marshall didn’t play in the last game and I think he was probably feeling a little bit of some stuff here and there,” Ford said.