UAB 73

(4-1, 1-1 away)

(5) Oklahoma St 86

(7-0, 5-0 home)

10:00 PM ET, December 10, 2004

Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Oklahoma

1 2 T
UAB 29 4473
#5OKST 39 4786

Top Performers

UAB: D. Taylor 17 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

Oklahoma St: J. Graham 20 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

Lucas keys Cowboys' late surge

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Alabama-Birmingham was able to control the flow of the game against No. 5 Oklahoma State. The Blazers just couldn't control the scoreboard.

John Lucas III scored nine of his 18 points in a 14-0 second-half run and Joey Graham had 20 points as the Cowboys overcame UAB's relentless pressure defense and won 86-73 Friday night.

Alabama-Birmingham (4-1) used its full-court pressure -- becoming a trademark under coach Mike Anderson -- to force the Cowboys to take quick and often ill-advised shots. But Oklahoma State (7-0) did well when it was patient and scored 16 points off fast-break chances.

"We were rushing a couple shots. That's one of the things that we've got to get back to is taking smart shots," Graham said. "That's one of the things that this team is known for is taking smart shots.

"Once we get back to doing that, we'll eliminate a lot of mistakes."

Lucas hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to spark the key run, and the Cowboys were up by 20 points with 15 minutes left.

Lucas had a second 3-pointer and capped the surge with a three-point play.

The Blazers responded to Oklahoma State's run with eight straight points -- all from the free-throw line -- but also missed four free throws in a span of two minutes to keep from drawing closer. Oklahoma State's lead was never in jeopardy thereafter.

"We wanted to go at a quicker tempo and we did at times," Anderson said. "At those times, we were able to create some turnovers.

"The senior leadership, they have played a big difference in the game."

Daniel Bobik scored 14 points, JamesOn Curry and Stephen Graham added 10 and Ivan McFarlin scored 10 to go with 12 rebounds for the Cowboys. Donell Taylor scored 17 points, and Marques Lewis and Richard Jones added 11 points each for UAB.

"You never know who is going to go off on any given night," Graham said of the Cowboys' balanced scoring. "We have so many different weapons that it doesn't really matter who scores. We are an unselfish team. When you have an unselfish team, a lot of people are going to get a lot of points."

Oklahoma State associate head coach Sean Sutton wasn't pleased with how his team played with the lead.

"We made some bad decisions with the basketball," said Sutton, who'll take over as head coach when father Eddie retires. "There were some key possessions when we were up 20 that we could have really opened the game up and extended it out. We didn't take advantage of that."

While the Cowboys couldn't pull away, they were able to answer every UAB challenge.

After the Blazers pulled within 11, Graham scored six consecutive points during an 8-0 Oklahoma State run for a comfortable 77-58 edge with 6:24 to play.

The Cowboys shot 52 percent and overcame 21 turnovers by holding the Blazers to only 35 percent.

"For us to win really big, we've got to rebound better and we've got to not turn the ball over as much," Sutton said.

Oklahoma State pulled ahead 16-8 with a 7-0 run six minutes into the first half as Lucas sat on the bench with two early fouls. Curry started the run with a 3-pointer from the left corner, and Bobik highlighted it with a steal and right-handed jam over Taylor on the next trip down the floor.

The Blazers charged back and took a 22-20 lead after Taylor sank two free throws with 6:05 left in the half.

But Oklahoma State went on a 10-0 run. Bobik's deep 3-pointer made it 34-24 with just under two minutes remaining in the half and he hit another trey to keep the Cowboys' lead at the break at 10.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 73 86
FG Made-Attempted 24-69 (.348) 27-52 (.519)
3P Made-Attempted 6-20 (.300) 7-15 (.467)
FT Made-Attempted 19-29 (.655) 25-30 (.833)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
Largest Lead 2 20

2004-05 Season

» Dec 10, 2004 @OKST 86, UAB 73Recap