STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- In 35 years of coaching, Eddie Sutton
had never started three freshman -- until Saturday.
Mario Boggan scored 27 points and JamesOn Curry added 19 as
Oklahoma State overcame the absence of three key players to beat
Arkansas State 84-64 Saturday.The Cowboys (9-4) rebounded from a blowout loss to
Alabama-Birmingham despite missing starters Marcus Dove and David
Monds to injury and reserve Torre Johnson to suspension. In their
place, Kenneth Cooper and Terrel Harris started alongside fellow
freshman Byron Eaton."I thought the game gave us a chance to play some of the
players that haven't been playing so much," Sutton said. "I never
played a game in all the years I've coached where we had two
starters and a sixth man not playing."Jim Jones led the Indians (5-9) with 19 points, and Lorenzo
Hamilton added a career-best 17.Coach Eddie Sutton put the Cowboys through a brutal series of
practices after the 90-71 rout by the Blazers Tuesday, including
wearing football helmets and pads to improve toughness.Oklahoma State responded well, controlling the game from the
tip. The Cowboys scored the first eight points and never allowed
Arkansas State closer than four."Overall, I thought we did some good things. We turned the ball
over too many times," Sutton said."In the second half, I thought our defense again was very
spotty and we fouled way too much. And we gave up too many
offensive rebounds."The Cowboys built their biggest lead at 56-33 on Curry's 19-foot
jumper with 11:47 to go. The shot capped a 15-1 run in which Curry
scored five points and Boggan scored six.The Indians cut it to 60-46 on Hamilton's basket with 8:57 to
go, capping a 13-4 run. But Arkansas State could get no closer.The Cowboys used a 10-2 run in the first half to pull away.
Boggan's lay-in and foul shot made it 26-13 with 7:34 left. Curry
had four points and a steal in the run, including a 3-pointer from
the left baseline.Arkansas State fought back, cutting the lead to 34-26 on Jones'
driving lay-in that capped an 8-0 spurt. Oklahoma State led 39-28
at halftime.Dove hurt his hip versus Tennessee Dec. 22, and Monds injured
his leg against Alabama-Birmingham. Johnson was suspended for an
undisclosed violation of team rules. He dressed but did not play.