Advertisement

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

OSU holds off K-State

Oklahoma St. 77, Kansas St. 71

Oklahoma State guard Byron Eaton, left, takes a shot in front of Kansas State forwards Ron Anderson, center, and Dominique Sutton during the first half in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, March 3, 2009. Eaton scored 25 points in his final regular-season home game to lead Oklahoma State to a 77-71 win.

Oklahoma State guard Byron Eaton, left, takes a shot in front of Kansas State forwards Ron Anderson, center, and Dominique Sutton during the first half in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, March 3, 2009. Eaton scored 25 points in his final regular-season home game to lead Oklahoma State to a 77-71 win.

Advertisement

— The trademark of Byron Eaton’s four years at Oklahoma State has been an uncanny ability to impose his will in a close game and guide the Cowboys to victory.

After his last chance to leave his mark in Gallagher-Iba Arena, Eaton told his teammates in the locker room: “It’s never felt so good.” That’s because his latest heroics could mean his first ever trip to the NCAA tournament.

Eaton scored 25 points in his final regular-season home game to lead Oklahoma State to a win against Kansas State on Tuesday night, keeping the Cowboys’ chances alive for a first-round bye in the Big 12 tournament.

“I think it was kind of a typical Byron Eaton performance,” coach Travis Ford said. “He put us on his shoulders when we needed it.”

Eaton hit a pair of free throws to break a 64-all tie with 3:40 remaining and put Oklahoma State (20-9, 9-6 Big 12) ahead for good. He added two more foul shots before Obi Muonelo’s three-pointer from the right wing extended the Cowboys’ lead to 71-64 with 2:38 left.

Kansas State (20-10, 8-7) got back within two, but Eaton then set up James Anderson for a three-pointer to help close it out for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are trying to break a three-year NCAA tournament drought, and Ford thinks their six-game winning streak should be enough to do the trick.

“Byron Eaton played like a four-year starter, a McDonald’s All-American on his senior night with his team knowing that it has a tremendous opportunity,” K-State coach Frank Martin said. “He played like a champ. That’s what it’s all about.”

Denis Clemente scored 17 points and Darren Kent added 14 to lead the Wildcats, who came into the game tied with the Cowboys in a three-team race for the fourth and final bye in the conference tournament. Kansas State could still get the No. 4 seed with a home win Saturday against last-place Colorado combined with losses by Texas (20-9, 9-6) and Oklahoma State.

No team has ever won the Big 12 men’s tournament without a first-round bye, making the race that much more important.

Anderson finished with 16 points for Oklahoma State, and Marshall Moses added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.