Missouri 68

(9-6, 1-1 Big 12)

(6) Oklahoma State 78

(12-1, 2-0 Big 12)

9:00 PM ET, January 11, 2005

Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Oklahoma

1 2 T
MIZZ 34 3468
#6OKST 36 4278

Top Performers

Missouri: L. Kleiza 24 Pts, 6 Reb

Oklahoma State: J. Graham 27 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl

Oklahoma State wards off Missouri

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- With a look up and a simple gesture, Eddie Sutton took time to say "thanks" to the man who helped inspire his winning ways.

Sutton tied his mentor Henry Iba for seventh place on the career coaching victories list when No. 6 Oklahoma State beat Missouri 78-68 on Tuesday night.

"Mr. Iba would be thrilled because he was a teacher, and I think the greatest credit that can be given is when somebody that you coached or taught does well," Sutton said.

Joey Graham scored a season-high 27 points and John Lucas added 18 for the Cowboys (12-1, 2-0 Big 12). They took the lead for good with two free throws by Stephen Graham midway through the second half and then held off the Tigers (9-6, 1-1), who moved within a point on three occasions.

Terrence Crawford drained two free throws to start a 6-0 run that gave Oklahoma State its largest lead of the second half, 69-61 with just under 4 minutes to play.

Crawford added a runout, two-handed jam and Stephen Graham finished the surge with a reverse layup and the orange-clad crowd could taste Sutton's landmark win.

Sutton improved to 767-293 in his career, which included stints at Creighton, Arkansas and Kentucky before he returned to his alma mater in 1990.

He sat on the bench with his arms folded and his trademark scowl on his face when things weren't going the Cowboys' way. He pointed and gestured to his assistant coaches and was always at the right hand of his son, Sean Sutton, who will take over the Cowboys if ever Eddie decides to retire.

Sutton walked onto the court without pomp or circumstance, taking his seat three spots from the end of the Cowboys' bench and taking a look around a sold-out Gallagher-Iba Arena before walking to midcourt to greet Missouri coach Quin Snyder and the officials.

"It was a special night," Sutton said.

He shook Snyder's hand again before walking off the court as the public address announcer proclaimed his achievement of tying Iba, whom Sutton played for at Oklahoma State and got his coaching start under. After more handshakes, he turned around and headed to the locker room like after any other victory.

But as he walked off the court, he pointed up.

"Mr. Iba, I kind of acknowledged," Sutton said of the gesture. "I said 'Thanks."

Sutton had plenty of reasons to be thankful. It was his mentor that instilled the values of defense that Sutton credits for carrying him to success.

"He was a marvelous basketball coach, but I think even a finer person, and I think that's why all of us who played for him call him Mr. Iba," Sutton said.

"The only guy I know that doesn't call him Mr. Iba is Bob (Knight), and he calls him Henry. Knight can get away with that, but I'm not sure any of us would feel comfortable calling him Henry or even Coach."

For a few days, Sutton will stand on even ground with Mr. Iba. He'll try to pass him Saturday when the Cowboys play Iowa State.

Sutton wasn't ready to consider himself on the same footing as his teacher.

"When you look at the record, it's a little deceiving in that we play a lot more games today than Mr. Iba did," Sutton said. "He coached a few years longer than I did."

Linas Kleiza scored 24 points to lead Missouri. He fought off endless boos following an early technical foul and his tough inside play helped cause two Oklahoma State defenders to foul out.

"I've gotten to know Eddie through some mutual friends, and he is a great man," Snyder said. "He always has an encouraging word.

"Before the game tonight, he told me that we had been playing great defense and that is a pretty big compliment coming from him. After the game, I just wanted to congratulate him on his incredible achievement and all the things he has accomplished."

Stephen Graham finished with 13 points for Oklahoma State, which had lost to the Tigers each of the previous two seasons, including a 93-92 loss in double overtime last season in Missouri.

The teams traded leads five times within a frenetic, 2-minute span midway through the second half after Jason Conley's steal and fastbreak layup tied it at 43.

After Joey Graham hit two free throws to put Oklahoma State ahead, Jason Horton hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Tigers a 46-45 lead with 13 minutes to play.

Lucas scored on three straight possessions for Oklahoma State as the Cowboys went up 51-48, but Missouri got inside baskets from Marshall Brown and Kleiza to pull back ahead 52-51. It was the last time the Tigers would lead.

The Cowboys -- completely unaware of the significance -- charged back and provided a win to make it Sutton's night.

"I had no idea," Lucas said. "Coach has not mentioned anything about it. I think he is one of those coaches that does not get caught up in record-breaking and stuff like that. He did not mention it to us at all. He was just getting us prepared and ready to win.

"It was business as usual."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 68 78
FG Made-Attempted 21-55 (.382) 24-49 (.490)
3P Made-Attempted 8-21 (.381) 4-9 (.444)
FT Made-Attempted 18-20 (.900) 26-29 (.897)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 19 (0/0)
Largest Lead 3 12

2004-05 Season

» Jan 11, 2005 @OKST 78, MIZZ 68Recap