Oklahoma St-SMU, 2nd Ld-Writethru

By JAIME ARON AP Sports Writer

DALLAS (AP) _ The biggest problem Oklahoma State is having this season is getting the offense going. The good news Monday night was it happened in the first half.

After seeing the sixth-ranked Cowboys struggle into the second half the last two games, John Lucas scored 11 points in a 17-4 run late in the first half, helping Oklahoma State take control of what turned into a 76-57 victory over SMU on Monday night.

``I just settled down,'' said Lucas, who finished with 24 points. ``I missed my first three shots. I just wanted to keep going and keep my team up. ... We wanted to jump up on them from the start.''

Oklahoma State (4-0) was down by four when Joey Graham hit consecutive jumpers to tie the game at 15. Then Lucas scored three straight baskets, the last one a 3-pointer, to put the Cowboys ahead for good. After another basket by Graham, Lucas had a four-point play, giving them a nine-point lead that was never again threatened.

The victory was sealed midway through the second half when Lucas threw an alley-oop pass to Stephen Graham coming out of a timeout, sparking a 7-0 spurt that put Oklahoma State up 64-44.

``I thought we executed better, especially our half-court offense,'' associate head coach Sean Sutton said. ``We executed our set plays better than we have in any game.''

In what was technically Oklahoma State's first road game _ even if it didn't seem like it because the majority of fans were pro-Cowboys _ they also cleaned up two other weak areas, foul shooting and rebounding. Oklahoma State made all 14 attempts from the line and had three more rebounds than the Mustangs (2-1), who had grabbed 33 more boards than their opponents over their first two games.

The win also was a milestone for Cowboys coach Eddie Sutton _ No. 759, tying Ed Diddle for eighth place on the Division I career list. Next up is Sutton's mentor, Henry Iba, who had 767 victories.

``I guess if you coach long enough, you are going to win as many games as I do,'' Eddie Sutton said. ``I'm very pleased. I've had so many wonderful assistant coaches and outstanding players, so it has made my job a lot easier.''

Joey Graham scored 14 points, Stephen Graham had nine points and 10 rebounds and Ivan McFarlin scored 13 points. Daniel Bobik scored 11, all but two on 3-pointers.

SMU lost for the first time under coach Jimmy Tubbs, who knows all about Oklahoma State after spending the last two seasons as an assistant at Oklahoma. The Mustangs could see this game as a sign of progress as they lost to the Cowboys by 35 last season and both teams return four starters.

Patrick Simpson led SMU with 20 points and Justin Isham scored 10. Bryan Hopkins was 1-of-11 from the field, missing all six 3-point attempts, and had just five points. Hopkins offset eight assists with six turnovers.

``Right now, as a team, we're not shooting very well,'' Tubbs said. ``We've got to become a tougher basketball team.''

Oklahoma State hadn't played in Moody Coliseum in nine years, but the timing was pretty good as it gave star recruit Byron Eaton of Dallas a chance to watch his future teammates.

The Cowboys have held all of their opponents between 53 and 65 points, the kind of throttling defense last year's team played en route to the Final Four.

``Everybody wants to compare this team to last year. We're still trying to find our identity,'' Bobik said. ``We definitely have a different attitude. Tonight was a stepping stone.''



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