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Eaton leads Oklahoma State over Oklahoma

Jan 23, 2007 - 7:04 AM STILLWATER, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Oklahoma State continues to be unbeatable at home.

Byron Eaton scored a season-high 17 points to lead the 16th-ranked Cowboys to a 66-61 victory over intrastate rival Oklahoma in a Big 12 Conference matchup.

Mario Boggan hit a pair of clutch free throws with 24 seconds to play as Oklahoma State (17-3, 3-2 Big 12) bounced back from Saturday's 57-49 loss at Texas A&M and improved to 12-0 at home.

"The coaches have been telling me all season long to step up and drive to the basket more," said Eaton, who had 13 points in the first half. "Tonight we knew Oklahoma would be guarding (JamesOn) Curry and Boggan. So it depended on what the rest of the team would do.

"Tonight I was able to drive to the basket a few times and get to the free-throw line."

Eaton and the Cowboys had a steady parade to the foul line throughout, making 27-of-38 attempts. They faltered in the second half, hitting just 11-of-19, and a pair of costly misses by Curry with 44 seconds to play put the Sooners on the threshold of an upset.

Oklahoma guard Michael Neal hit a 3-pointer to slice the deficit to 62-61 with 26 seconds remaining.

After Boggan was fouled and made both foul shots, Austin Johnson missed a tying 3-point attempt with five seconds to go. Seldom-used forward Tyler Hatch clinched it with two free throws with four seconds left.

"That is how it is as long as I keep posting (up) hard," Boggan said. "When my teammates find me down there, it is either going to be a bucket or a foul. They were not going to let me do what I do so I just tried to bang hard in the post and get to the free-throw line."

Although Boggan scored 13 points he managed just one rebound, but reserve forward David Monds picked up the slack with 11 points and 11 boards.

"Of course, Boggan and Curry are big-time players, but the other guys know when to step up their game, too," Monds said. "That's what Byron and I did tonight as we tried to carry our team."

Nate Carter scored Oklahoma's first seven points and Neal hit a pair of shots from the arc to give the Sooners (11-7, 3-3) an early 15-8 lead.

Three free throws by Eaton put the Cowboys ahead to stay, 34-32, and Kenny Cooper scored the final four points for a 38-34 halftime margin.

"Byron had one of his best games since he has been at Oklahoma State," Cowboys coach Sean Sutton said. "And I thought that Kenny (Cooper) gave us some energy in the first half. He got some big putbacks when we were struggling to shoot the basketball."

Oklahoma State opened its biggest lead when Marcus Dove capped an 8-2 run with a layup for a 57-48 lead with 6:10 to play.

The Sooners, who had a two-game win streak end, fought back behind David Godbold, who hit a pair of 3-pointers to close the deficit to 62-58 with 53 seconds remaining.

Carter led Oklahoma with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

"It's disappointing because we felt like we should have won the game," Carter said. "We made some mistakes, turned the ball over and gave them some rebounds."