Fresno St. 58, No. 14 Oklahoma St. 52

Monday, February 11th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) _ A minor adjustment in Damon Jackson's shot made a huge difference for Fresno State.

Jackson was 7-of-11 from 3-point range and scored a career-high 24 points as the Bulldogs snapped a four-game losing streak with a 58-52 victory over No. 14 Oklahoma State on Sunday.

Travis DeManby added a school-record 11 steals for the Bulldogs (15-10).

Ivan McFarlin and Victor Williams each scored 12 points for Oklahoma State (18-6), which played without leading scorer Maurice Baker.

Jackson had made just 13 of his last 54 3-point attempts entering Sunday's game.

The 6-foot-2 junior guard said he listened to the advice of coach Jerry Tarkanian, who instructed him to look at the rim after shooting instead of following the flight of the ball.

``That's a big adjustment, especially for a shooter,'' Jackson said. ``I give Coach a lot of credit for having confidence in me. I gave him a big hug after the game and said, 'Thanks.'''

Fresno State won despite shooting just 34.5 percent from the field. Oklahoma State, however, shot only 35 percent and committed 25 turnovers against the Bulldogs' zone defense.

The Cowboys limited Fresno State center Melvin Ely to just 11 points, his lowest output since Nov. 15, but struggled on the offensive end.

``I thought defensively we did a good job on Ely, and our defense was good enough to give us a chance to win,'' Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said. ``But like someone told me a long time ago, if you don't put the ball in the bucket you're not going to win.''

Oklahoma State committed nine turnovers in the first 8:30 and made just one of its first nine shots as Fresno State opened the game on a 17-2 run. The Cowboys trimmed the deficit to 27-22 at halftime.

The teams traded baskets early in the second half before Oklahoma State took a 50-48 lead on Williams' 3-pointer with 6:31 left.

But Fresno State tied the score on its next possession on a dunk by Noel Felix, then went ahead for good with 2:15 left on a 3-pointer by Chris Sandy.

The Bulldogs finished the game on an 8-2 run.

``We had some other guys really step up today,'' Tarkanian said. ``I knew Ely would struggle because Sutton is such a great defensive coach. Damon Jackson and Chris Sandy really came through for us.

``I hope this is the kind of game that will give us some confidence and get us moving. We can really make a run down the stretch.''

Oklahoma State, which was just 5-for-25 from 3-point range, finished with a 45-33 rebound advantage with Williams, a 5-10 guard, getting 10.

Baker sustained a high right ankle sprain during Wednesday's victory over No. 24 Texas Tech and is questionable for Wednesday's intrastate showdown with No. 4 Oklahoma.

Forward Chris Jefferies missed his fourth straight game for Fresno State with torn cartilage in his left knee.