Oklahoma State Travels To Cincinnati To Face Bearcats

Feb. 7, 2003

Oklahoma State Cowboys
(18-2) face the Cincinnati Bearcats (13-6)
in a break from Big 12 Conference action
Sunday, Feb. 9, 2003 *?2:30 p.m. (CST)
Shoemaker Center [13,176] * Cincinnati, Ohio

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Oklahoma State Cowboys
Probable Starters (based on last game)

       Name                    Ht.     Wt.    Yr.      PPG      RPG
F  23  Ivan McFarlin           6-8     237    Jr.     11.3      7.4
F  40  Andre Williams          6-8     225    Sr.      4.7      5.8
G   5  Victor Williams         5-10    187    Sr.     14.7      3.6 ^
G  24  Tony Allen              6-4     205    Jr.     16.2      5.1
G  34  Melvin Sanders          6-5     210    Sr.     12.9      4.4

Off the Bench
       Name                    Ht.     Wt.    Yr.      PPG      RPG
C   4  Frans Steyn             7-2     306    So.      0.5      1.1
G  25  Janavor Weatherspoon    6-1     165    Jr.      3.5      1.2
G  30  Cheyne Gadson           6-3     190    Sr.      5.8      3.2 ^
F  33  Jason Miller            6-9     245    Jr.      2.9      3.5

Cincinnati Bearcats
Probable Starters (based on last game)
       Name                    Ht.     Wt.    Yr.      PPG      RPG
F  13  Leonard Stokes          6-6     200    Sr.     16.4      4.5
F  54  Jason Maxiell           6-7     235    So.     11.8      7.2
C  42  Kareem Johnson          6-7     250    Jr.      2.2      3.9
G   2  Field Williams          6-3     185    Jr.     13.2      2.4
G  20  Taron Barker            6-1     200    Sr.      6.6      5.3 ^
^ denotes assists per game

Oklahoma State will take a break from Big 12 Conference action this weekend as the Cowboys travel to Cincinnati, Ohio, to face the Cincinnati Bearcats. Game time on Sunday, Feb. 9, is set for 2:30 p.m., and the game will be televised by ABC. Oklahoma State is coming off a 63-55 win over the Kansas State Wildcats Wedensday night. Cincinnati is coming off a 76-71 loss to No. 5 Louisville Wednesday night in Kentucky.

Oklahoma State is ranked ninth in the latest Associated Press poll, and 11th in the most recent USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. The Cowboys are ranked fourth in the Ratings Percentage Index according to Collegiate Basketball News. The Bearcats are receiving votes in both major polls, and are ranked 23rd in the RPI.

On Television
Sunday's game will be regionally televised by ABC Sports. Dave O'Brien will handle the play-by-play duties, while Jay Bilas will provide expert analysis. The game can be seen on KOCO-TV 5 in Oklahoma City, KTUL-TV 8 in Tulsa, and Cox Cable Channels 5 and 8 in Stillwater.

Last Time Out For OSU
Oklahoma State's defense got on track early, and Kansas State couldn't recover as the Cowboys defeated the Wildcats, 63-55, Wednesday night in Gallagher-Iba Arena. OSU took an early 14-2 lead after forcing a couple of KSU turnovers. K-State finished the game with 19 TOs. While OSU's offense struggled, the defense was outstanding. The Cowboys had 10 steals and blocked 12 Wildcat shots while limiting KSU to just 39.7 percent from the floor. Tony Allen led the Cowboys with 17 points, while Victor Williams chipped in 11 points and dished out seven assists. Melvin Sanders added 14 points and five rebounds, while Andre Williams had nine points, seven blocked shots and six rebounds. The Cowboys shot just 38.6 percent from the floor and just 28.6 percent from beyond the arc, but did improve on their free-throw shooting, connecting on 17-of-21 shots from the charity stripe, or 81 percent.

About Cincinnati
The Bearcats are 13-6 overall this season and coming off a 77-71 loss at the hands of No. 5 Louisville Wednesday night. Cincinnati is led by senior Leonard Stokes, who is averaging 16.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest. Field Williams is averaging 13.2 points per game, and Jason Maxiell is chipping in at 11.8 points per clip and 7.2 boards per contest. As a team, the `Cats are shooting 41.6 percent from the floor, 36.1 percent from behind the three-point arc and 68.5 percent from the charity stripe. They are limiting their opponents to just 59.9 points per game, while outscoring their foes by an average of 9.2 points per contest. Cincinnati was on an eight-game winning streak and was 13-3 before a recent three-game slide. Those three losses were close, with the Bearcats losing at DePaul by four, vs. Marquette at home by six, and at Louisville by six.

Last Time Out for Cincy
Jason Maxiell scored 21 points and grabbed 10 boards, but the Bearcats fell for the third-consecutive game as the No. 5 Louisville Cardinals defeated UC, 77-71, Wednesday night in Freedom Hall. Field Williams added 14 points for Cincinnati, while Leonard Stokes and Taron Barker chipped in 13 and 11, respectively. In a game that was about as close as they come, the deciding factor was was one three pointer and two free throws. The Bearcats had 22 turnovers, three more than Louisville, and two more rebounds.

Series with the Bearcats: OSU leads, 3-1
In a very brief series, Oklahoma State leads the all-time record with Cincinnati, 3-1. The Cowboys defeated the Bearcats, 61-57, on Jan. 6, 1958, in Stillwater, and UC returned the favor five weeks later, handing the Cowboys a 71-59 loss in Cincinnati on Feb15, 1958. OSU defeated UC, 62-58, in Oklahoma city as part of the All-College Tournament on Dec. 28, 1985. Last season, in a game put together by ESPN, the Cowboys handed Cincinnati a 69-62 loss in Gallagher-Iba Arena in the season opener.

Sutton Surpasses Haskins on Coaching List
Wednesday night's win over Kansas State gave Coach Eddie Sutton his 720th career victory, moving him into sole possession of 13th place on the all-time career wins list. He surpassed Don Haskins, who had 719 wins all at Texas-El Paso and played his collegiate basketball at Oklahoma A&M under legendary coach Mr. Iba. The Miners coach for 38 years had a 719-353 career record. Coach Sutton, in his 33rd season overall, is 720-280. Include that with Mr. Iba's 767 career wins, and that's three coaches with OSU ties that have a combined 2,206 career victories.

Sutton Coaches in 1,000th Career Game
Oklahoma State Coach Eddie Sutton became the 17th coach in Division I history to coach in his 1,000th career game Wednesday night when the Cowboys hosted Kansas State. Now 17 coaches in NCAA history that have achieved that mark, including Sutton's mentor, Henry Iba, who coached in 1,105 games. Coach Sutton will surpass Gene Bartow (1,000 games coached) for 15th place on the all-time games coached list when the Cowboys play Sunday at Cincinnati. By season's end, Coach Sutton will surpass legendary Kansas coach Phog Allen, who coached in 1,010 career games.

Stifling Defense
Eddie Sutton has always preached solid defense, and while OSU's offense has struggled at times this season, the defense has been outstanding. Through 20 games, OSU is allowing a league-best 60.3 points per game, and has allowed an opponent to score in the 70s just three times this season. OSU is allowing its opponents to shoot just 38.3 percent from the floor, best in the conference. On the defensive glass, OSU is outrebounding its opponents by an average of 9.6 boards per game. OSU is also averaging 9.65 steals per game (third in the Big 12 behind Kansas' 10.57 and Texas Tech's 9.72) and 5.65 blocks per contest (third in the league behind ISU's 6.5 and Colorado's 5.75).

Coming up Big on Offense
While Oklahoma State is well-known for its unbreakable defense, the Cowboy offense has been coming into its own lately. For the season, OSU is the only team to have four players ranked in the Big 12's top 30 scorers. Tony Allen ranks 12th at 16.2 points per game, while Victor Williams is 18th at 14.6 points per contest. Melvin Sanders is 26th at 12.9 ppg, and Ivan McFarlin is 28th, averaging 11.2 points per contest. Five other schools have three players ranked in the top 30 individually. In Big 12 Conference games, Oklahoma State is the only team with three players ranked in the top 15 for three-point field-goal percentage.

Vic Williams Making the Plays
Victor Williams was the Cowboys' leading scorer a year ago, and the senior guard has come up big for the Cowboys this season, but none bigger than the Bedlam game vs. Oklahoma. With the score tied and the shot clock winding down, Williams drove towards the basket and pulled up for what turned out to be the game-winning jumper. Vic followed up his performance against OU with a season-high 24 points vs. Missouri. For his effort that week, he was named the Big 12 Conference's Player of the Week. Williams has been solid this season, averaging 14.7 points and 3.6 assists per game. He's second on the team in free-throw shooting, connecting on 76.5 percent of his shots. Vic has 47 steals and 40 rebounds. He also likes the friendly confines of Gallagher-Iba Arena, leading the team in scoring in home games at 15.6 points per contest, and shooting 50.4 percent from the floor, including 45.5 percent from three-point range. Victor is averaging 18.3 points per game over the last nine contests.

Vic Hits Magical 1,000 Point Mark
With 24 points vs. Texas Tech, senior Victor Williams became the 24th player in school history to record 1,000 points in a career. He surpassed Brooks Thompson, who had 996 points in his two-year career. Against Kansas State, Vic scored 11 points, moving his career total to 1,057 and into 22nd place on the all-time list. Victor needs 56 points to move past Richard Dumas for 21st place. Vic has 1,284 points in his career at the Division I level, including 245 as a freshman at Illinois State.

Williams Reaches 400 Assists in Career
With seven assists vs. Kansas State, Victor Williams has 307 dishes in his three-year career at Oklahoma State. That ranks him 12th on the OSU career assists list. Next on the list is No. 11 Bill Self, who had 317 assists for OSU from 1982-85. Vic has 410 career assists, including a game-high nine vs. Texas A&M on Feb. 21, 2001, and a season-high 126 last season. He had a season-high eight dishes vs. Texas A&M. Victor currently has 71 assists this season, an average of 3.6 per game.

Allen Living up to Expectations
Junior transfer Tony Allen is doing it all for Oklahoma State. The 6-4 guard leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.2 points per game this season, and is an all-around player for the Cowboys. He had a career-high 29 points vs. Texas A&M. Over the last 10 games, Allen is averaging 18.2 points. He has made at least one three pointer in 15 of OSU's 20 games, and is shooting 48 percent (24-of-50) from beyond the arc. He had a career-high nine rebounds vs. Texas A&M in College Station, and had career bests in assists (7) and steals (5) vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Chicago native is averaging 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.1 steals per contest. Defensively, Tony is joining Melvin Sanders as one of the top stoppers on the squad. He limited A&M freshman phenom Antoine Wright to just 15 points on 14 shot attempts, and held OU's Ebi Ere to six points, 12 below his average, on 2-of-10 shooting. Tony was the Big 12 Rookie of the Week for the period ending Jan. 12.

Honors Again for Allen
Two weeks ago, Tony Allen stepped it up another notch for the Cowboys, performing admirably in two conference road wins. In the game against Baylor, he scored eight of the teams' final 14 points in regulation. With the Cowboys down by one, he then stole the ball and converted a three-point play with 39.6 seconds remaining. A Victor Williams free throw put OSU ahead by three, and Allen forced Terrance Thomas into an errant shot at the buzzer. After Texas Tech narrowed the game to 65-64 with 3:09 remaining, Tony scored six-straight points and eight of OSU's final 14 for the 79-70 victory. For his efforts, Allen was named the Big 12 Conference's Rookie of the Week for the second time in three weeks, and was also named the ESPN.com Player of the Week.

Tony Steps up his Game in League Road Games
So far in conference play, Tony Allen has stepped up his game, especially on the road. In three home Big 12 games, Tony is averaging just 12.5 points per game, marred mostly by a seven-point performance against Missouri. However, in league road games, he is averaging 20.5 points per game, and shooting 53.4 percent from the floor. He's also averaging seven rebounds per road contest, as well as three steals and just over two assists.

Sanders the Stopper
Senior guard/forward Melvin Sanders is one of the top defensive players in the league and perhaps the country. He is typically assigned to the opposing team's top offensive player, regardless of height. That was evident two weeks ago, when in two games, Melvin stopped two of the top-12 scorers in the Big 12 dead in their tracks. He held Oklahoma's Hollis Price, a 6-0 guard, to just six points, a dozen below his average, on 2-of-14 shooting. One game later, he limited Missouri's Rickey Paulding, who was averaging 17.3 points per game, to a season-low 10. Against Baylor, Kenny Taylor scored just seven points, six below his season average, on 2-of-8 shooting. ISU's Jake Sullivan was just 1-of-10 from the floor, finishing with six points and none in the final 35 minutes of the game. Most recently, Brandon Mouton of Texas scored just seven points, 5-1/2 below his average, on 3-of-12 shooting from the floor. Against Kansas State, he limited Gilson DeJesus to just two points, 10 below his average, on 1-of-5 shooting in 36 minutes. DeJesus is averaging six shots a game from beyond the arc, making three of them. Melvin limited him to 0-of-1 from long range. Sanders was the primary defensive player on all of them.

McFarlin a Warrior
Ivan McFarlin is the prototypical Coach Sutton player, a "warrior". I-Mac is the toughest player on the team, and certainly one of the hardest workers in the league. He scored a career-high 24 points vs. UMKC and, three games later, broke that with a 27-point performance against BYU. In the UMKC game, McFarlin also had 14 rebounds, recording the eighth double-double of his career. Ivan leads the conference with a 61.5 shooting percentage from the floor. He is averaging just 11.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest, including 61 boards on the offensive glass.

Cowboys Host Block Parties
On two occasions this season, Oklahoma State has blocked 13 shots in a single game, the third-best mark in school history. OSU had 13 deflections vs. Hartford, and did the same at Wichita State. In the last game against KSU, the Cowboys blocked 12 Wildcat attempts. This season, OSU has 113 blocked shots as a team, an average of 5.65 per game and thethird-most in the Big 12 Conference behind Iowa State and with Colorado.

Williams Elite Shot Blocker
Senior forward Andre Williams has 184 career blocks, and is in fourth place on the school career blocked shots list. He leads the team with 56 deflections so far this season, and next on the list is Bryant Reeves, who had 194 blocked shots in his OSU career. Andre had a career-high eight deflections vs. Wichita State, and had seven vs. Kansas State earlier this week. The only games this year in which he failed to block a shot was vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and at Texas. He is currently averaging 2.8 blocks per game this season, and leads the league ahead of David Harrison's 2.7 bpg.

A Trio of Thieves
Oklahoma State has 193 steals this season, led by Victor Williams' 47. Tony Allen has 42, while Melvin Sanders has 36. Those three Cowboys rank first, fourth and eighth, respectively, in the Big 12 in steals per game. Kansas is the only other school in the league that have two individuals in the Top Eight. As a team, OSU is third in the league, averaging 9.65 thefts per contest.

Sanders Has String of Starts
Cowboy senior Melvin Sanders has started every game of his Cowboy career, and has moved into fifth-place on the consecutive starts list. Sanders needs five more starts to tie Bryant Reeves, who started 87 consecutive contests from 1993-95, and six starts to tie Darwyn Alexander. Nine starts would move Melvin into second-place on the consecutive-starts list.

Miscellaneous Notes
The Cowboys' 6-0 record in league play was the best start since 1964-65, when Oklahoma State also started 6-0, and tied for the ninth best conference start in school history ... OSU had seven players score in double figures vs. Alaska-Anchorage, the first time for that to happen in the Eddie Sutton era at OSU ... the Cowboys have shot better from the charity stripe away from Gallagher-Iba Arena (76.5 percent) than at home (59.4 percent) ... Oklahoma State has 61 dunks this season, led by Melvin Sanders' 19 ... OSU has taken 13 charges in 20 games, led by Ivan McFarlin's six ... Oklahoma State has won 17-straight home games, dating back to last season, the eighth-longest streak in the nation.

Up Next: the Nebraska Huskers
Oklahoma State will travel to Lincoln, Neb., next week for a game with the Nebraska Huskers. The game, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 12, will start at 7 p.m. Nebraska is 9-12 overall this season and 1-7 in Big 12 Conference action.



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