Cowboys get big win; Sampson displeased with effort

Thursday, February 14th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ The 200th basketball game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State proved to be one to remember for both teams.

For Oklahoma State, the 79-72 victory in overtime Wednesday night could not have come at a better time. The 16th-ranked Cowboys had lost five of eight coming into the game, but they found they can play well even without their best player.

Oklahoma, on the other hand, nearly won despite subpar performances from several players.

``I'm always disappointed when we lose,'' Sooners coach Kelvin Sampson said. ``There's some things that just tick you off as a coach _ the way you lose a game.

``I was disappointed with some of our toughness. In this kind of environment, you want your kids to step up.''

A few did for No. 4 Oklahoma (19-4, 8-3 Big 12). Aaron McGhee continued his strong play, scoring 27 points and grabbing 11 rebounds before fouling out in the final minute of overtime. Jason Detrick came off the bench and scored 15 points. Little-used Jozsef Szendrei had 11 rebounds in 17 minutes.

But leading scorer Hollis Price had just 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting. Ebi Ere, second to Price with a 14-point average, scored a season-low five points and was 2 of 9 from the field. Point guard Quannas White had six rebounds, but just two assists and five points. Center Jabahri Brown played on 11 minutes.

``We did a great job of getting back and having a chance to win it in regulation and that was good,'' Sampson said. ``But in a game like this sometimes things get exposed, and it's good for a coach to know.''

Oklahoma outrebounded the Cowboys 50-39, but that didn't make up for 32.8 percent shooting.

Price, who averages 17 points per game, had just three at halftime Wednesday night. He made four free throws to help Oklahoma rally from a five-point deficit in the final minutes of regulation, but otherwise wasn't much of a factor.

``You can't have three guys (play well) and the rest of us not show up, especially me,'' Price said. ``I'm supposed to be the leader.''

The on-court leader for Oklahoma State (19-6, 6-5) is Baker, who missed his second straight game due to a sprained right ankle. The Cowboys struggled without him in a loss at Fresno State on Sunday, committing 25 turnovers and falling behind 17-2, but they played much better this time.

Ivan McFarlin scored a career-high 22 points, including eight in overtime. Melvin Sanders spent much of the night guarding Price, and had 12 points and 11 rebounds. He came up with two big plays early in the second half _ a 3-pointer and a dunk off a steal _ to start a 9-0 run that erased a seven-point halftime deficit.

The Cowboys, who have struggled on offense without Baker, got double-figure scoring from all five starters and did a better job of scoring inside. After taking 25 3-pointers against Fresno State, Oklahoma State tried just seven against the Sooners.

``The 3-point shot is a great thing, but you certainly have to have a balance and you've got to at least explore the other team's defense to see if you can get something inside,'' Sutton said.

Oklahoma returns home Saturday to play Kansas State. Oklahoma State looks to continue the momentum gained from Wednesday night when it travels to Texas A&M on Saturday.

``You talk about turning points,'' forward Fredrik Jonzen said. ``Sometimes it has to start, and now we have something to build on going into the rest of the season.''