January 6, 2009

Two for Tuesday: Basketball doubleheader tonight

Surviving the non-conference part of a basketball schedule is always key if a team wants to aim for great things in March.

And, at least at this moment, both of the Oklahoma State basketball teams have basically done that, winning 10 games apiece and looking ahead to a conference slate that could make or break the team's seasons.

But before the Cowboys and Cowgirls get to Big 12 action this weekend, they need to close out those non-conference schedules with solid outings tonight. Both are in action in a doubleheader at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The ladies are up first against Centenary at 5:30 p.m., while the men follow after that game (approximately 8:05 p.m.) to face off against Savannah State. Neither game will be televised. The Cowgirls' game can be heard on KGFY-105.5 FM and the Pokes on KSPI-93.7 FM or elsewhere on the Cowboys Sports Radio Network.

The No. 21 Cowgirls (10-2) enter their final non-conference game coming off a pounding of Texas-Pan American, 85-36. A crowd of 3,250 watched as five different Cowgirls posted double-figure scoring efforts, led by the 17 from Tegan Cunningham. As a whole, the team posted 22 assists, with six coming from Taylor Hardeman and five from Andrea Riley. OSU had a very solid first half against the Lady Broncs (8-8), going into the break up 44-22. But the second half was even more oppressive. UTPA only shot 20 percent in the second half while the Cowgirls shot 48 percent. A 41-14 second half run gave OSU a 49-point win.

Tonight shouldn't be much of a challenge for Kurt Budke's crew. Centenary comes into the game with a dismal 2-11 record and have lost four straight, including a 95-42 drubbing by Oral Roberts last week. The Ladies shot only 26 percent against the Golden Eagles. None of the Ladies (yes, that's their nickname) average double figures, with Anne Farrell coming closest at 9.4 points per game. She also claims 7.8 rebounds per game. Ashley Jackson is putting up 7.9 ppg and four rpg. No one else on the team averages more than 6.9 ppg.

As for the Cowboys (10-3), they're coming off a blistering 122-73 win over Northwestern State. The Pokes were lights out from the get go in that one, as they had scored 66 points by halftime. The points were poured on in the second frame as well and the end result was four different Cowboys passing the 20-point mark on the stat sheet. James Anderson led with 27 points, while Terrel Harris posted 23, Obi Muonelo 22 and Keiton Page 21.

"Getting four players with over 20 points is good," said head coach Travis Ford. "It's good that we're sharing the basketball. I thought Terrel played one of his better games. Obi continues to do what Obi does. It was good to see Byron have a good second half because he didn't play but eight or nine minutes in the first half. Keiton woke up after a slow start. It was good to see and we made our shots."

Muonelo also had a big rebounding night, reeling in 12. Byron Eaton collected six assists and only picked up one turnover.

The Pokes' game tonight could be another unbalanced one on the scoreboard. The Tigers (7-7) are coming off a 63-37 loss to Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday and have lost three straight. SSU features three players averaging exactly 8.1 ppg - guards Raye Bailey and Jovonni Shuler and forward Chris Linton. As a team, the Tigers average 52.7 ppg. They shoot 34.7 percent from the three-point line.

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