Cowboys ride to Sweet 16
OSU tops Pepperdine, advances farthest since '95
Posted: Sunday March 19, 2000 05:07 PM
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Eddie Sutton got his wish for Oklahoma State's seven seniors.
Paced by center Fredrik Jonzen's 21 points and two clutch 3-pointers from Joe Adkins, the Cowboys broke open a close game in the second half Sunday and beat Pepperdine 75-67 to advance to the East Regional semifinals.
"I wanted so much to get to the Sweet 16 with this team because those seniors have been a very special group," said Sutton, the Cowboys coach whose last two appearances in the NCAA tournament ended with second-round losses to a top seed.
"I told them that I thought they were good enough to get there, and when you get there anything can happen. It's down to 16 ballclubs."
Oklahoma State will face Temple or Seton Hall on Friday in Syracuse, N.Y.
Oklahoma State and Pepperdine were coming off 20-point victories in the first round. The third-seeded Cowboys (26-6) beat 14th-seeded Hofstra 86-66 and No. 10 Pepperdine (25-9) defeated No. 6 Indiana 77-57.
This one was a fight for 30 minutes. The Waves, who press at every turn, befuddled the Cowboys at the outset and built a 5-1 lead. Sutton had seen enough and called a timeout.
"When we came out, [the Waves] had great energy level and we were down," said Cowboys point guard Doug Gottlieb, who finished with nine assists and five points. "And Coach, instead of going nuts like some coaches do, sat us down and said, "Look, now let's start playing. You obviously know they can play. Relax and play.''
And the Cowboys did. Jonzen's strong inside game -- he scored 12 of his points in the first half - allowed them to take a 35-31 lead at the break.
"We talked about that before the game, saying we had to get the ball inside," said Jonzen, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds against Hofstra. "The high post was wide open. That was one of the main keys -- getting the ball inside."
Still, the game was tied six times before Oklahoma State finally came to life midway through the second half with the score 44-44. And the Cowboys did it as the Waves struggled from long range.
Pepperdine stunned Indiana by hitting 9-of-17 3-pointers. But the Waves missed their first 10 of the second half Sunday, going scoreless for four minutes. Pepperdine finished the game 7-of-32 from 3-point range, while the Cowboys hit half of their 14 and shot 49.1 percent for the game.
"We were getting even better looks than we did against Indiana," said Tezale Archie, who had 14 assists and seven points but missed six 3-pointers. "We got all the looks we wanted. We just didn't knock them down. A few of them were contested, but I thought we did a real good job of kicking off to the next guy who was open."
While the Waves were misfiring, the Cowboys pulled away with a 16-4 run. Adkins, who had 18 points, administered the crushing blows, hitting two straight 3-pointers, the second from the right corner boosting the lead to 65-50 with 3:25 left.
"He's done it in his four years here," Gottlieb said. "He got the clutch award from Coach last year. Sometimes he comes out and takes some wild shots, but when it comes to [crunch] time and we need a bucket and he's open, it's going in."
By the time Brandon Armstrong hit two 3s and Archie hit another to break the drought in the final two minutes, the Waves were too far behind to regroup. They left with their heads high, even if they didn't join West Coast Conference rival Gonzaga in the next round.
"Everybody knows about Pepperdine now," Archie said. "When we first got here there wasn't but two Pepperdine fans -- our athletic director and his wife. By the end, half the building was chanting for us. We made a statement. Hopefully, we can start a dynasty."
The Waves' defense worked well enough to hold Indiana All-American A.J. Guyton to three points on 0-for-2 shooting in the first round, and it worked pretty well against the Cowboys. Desmond Mason, who had 30 points against Hofstra, had 13 against the Waves.
Armstrong led Pepperdine with 19 points and Nick Sheppard had