Oklahoma State 54, Nebraska 39

Thursday, March 8th 2007, 9:12 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Mario Boggan scored 11 points to lead a balanced scoring attack as Oklahoma State beat Nebraska 54-39 in opening-round action of the Big 12 Conference Tournament Thursday night.

Boggan was the only Cowboys player to score in double figures. Teammates JamesOn Curry and Marcus Dove finished with nine points each and Byron Eaton and David Monds had eight and seven, respectively.

The victory advances Oklahoma State (21-11) into a quarterfinal matchup with No. 2 seed Texas A&M on Friday, and keeps the Cowboys hopes for an NCAA Tournament bid alive.

Three days after shooting 54 percent in an 85-73 home victory over Oklahoma State, Nebraska (17-14) went into the deep freeze via a 13-of-47 shooting performance that included a 6-of-24 effort during the opening 20 minutes. The Cornhuskers were led by Aleks Maric with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

The seventh-seeded Cowboys controlled the contest early behind a swarming, physical defense that held Nebraska without a field goal for almost 10 minutes of the opening half. During that span, the Huskers missed their first 10 shots from the field and coughed up nine turnovers.

Monds 3-pointer gave the Cowboys a 15-1 advantage before Maric finally ended Nebraska's dry spell with a bucket at the 10:19 mark. That started an 11-0 Husker run that was capped by a 3-pointer from Sek Henry with 5:50 left before half.

Two possessions later, Oklahoma State snapped a 5-minute scoreless drought on a layup by Obi Muonelo, who followed with a 3-pointer that turned the tide back in the Cowboys favor. A 13-2 run _ sparked by buckets by Boggan, Dove and Curry _ helped OSU to a 30-19 halftime lead.

Oklahoma State experienced its own shooting troubles in the second half _ hitting only 6-of-21 attempts _ but the Huskers could not take advantage. Nebraska connected on just 7-of-23 shots after the break and could get no closer than 11 down the stretch.

The 39 points by Nebraska establishes a new low water mark for first-round games in the Big 12 tournament.