BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- No team in the NCAA Tournament is more senior-dominated, but that does not mean Oklahoma State's future will be a struggle.
Sophomore Fredrik Jonzen scored a career-high 21 points, including six during a late 18-4 run, as the third-seeded Cowboys reached the "Sweet 16" for the first time in five years with a 75-67 victory over No. 11 Pepperdine.
Oklahoma State (26-6), which reached the Final Four when it last went to the regional semifinals in 1995, will play upstart Seton Hall on Friday at Syracuse, New York.
"We had a lot of respect for Pepperdine going into the game," Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said. "We didn't have as much time to prepare and the style that they play makes it a little more difficult because we haven't seen all the different types of traps and pressing and different types of half-court defenses." A native of Sweden, Jonzen made two free throws, hit a fallaway shot in the lane and converted a layup on the break during the key burst as the Cowboys turned a two-point deficit into a 60-48 lead with 5 1/2 minutes left.
"I think I really stepped up in the last couple of games," Jonzen said. "I've been trying to get in there and rebound and get some easy buckets." Joe Adkins had seven points during the run, capping it with a 3-pointer from the left wing.
Brandon Armstrong scored 19 points for the Waves (25-9), who have never won more than one game in the NCAA Tournament.
"What I am most proud about is the guys on this podium and the guys in the locker room," Pepperdine coach Jan van Breda Kolff said. "I've been coaching for a while and playing for a while, and winning and losing never gets old." Armstrong did his best to keep Pepperdine in the game down the stretch, draining two 3-pointers to go along with one by Texale Archie as the Waves made it a five-point contest twice in the final 77 seconds.
But Jonzen and seniors Adkins, Glendon Alexander and Doug Gottlieb combined to go 6-of-8 from the line in the last minute as the Cowboys held on.
"I wanted so much to get to the 'Sweet 16' with this basketball team because those seniors have been a very special group," Sutton said. "In the last two years we did always win our first game but then we were faced with the No. 1 seeds." Adkins scored 18 points and seniors Desmond Mason and Brian Montonati added 13 and 11, respectively, for Oklahoma State, which committed 15 turnovers but shot 49 percent (26-of-53) to 42 percent (27-of-64) by the Waves.
Gottlieb, who ranks second in the nation with 8.6 assists per game, dished out nine while Jonzen grabbed nine rebounds as the Cowboys built a 41-31 advantage on the boards.
The Waves, who upset sixth-seeded Indiana in the first round on Friday, were just 7-of-32 from beyond the arc and outscored at the line, 16-6.
Despite its struggles from the perimeter, Pepperdine held a 44-42 lead following a basket in the lane by Nick Sheppard with 14:42 left. Sheppard scored 11 of his 13 points in the first 8 1/2 minutes of the second half.
"I think (Sheppard) came out in the second half more aggressive than he was in the first," Jonzen said. "We switched a little defensively and we helped each other out." But Adkins' runner tied it and Alexander put Oklahoma State on top for good by nailing a 3-pointer from the right corner with just over 12 minutes to play.
After another basket by Sheppard, Adkins banked in a leaner and Jonzen scored four straight points as Oklahoma State opened a 53-46 lead.
David Lalazarian, a high school teammate of Gottlieb in California, hit a jumper for the Waves before the Cowboys scored seven straight points on Jonzen's layup, a jumper by Mason and Adkins' 3-pointer.
Archie handed out 14 assists for the Waves, who had only 10 turnovers and were the better team during several stretches.
"Nobody knew who we were when we came out here, but we found out who we are," van Breda Kolff said. "Now it's up to the younger guys to build on the tradition that we started." Oklahoma state used a 9-0 run to open a 10-5 lead 5:13 into the game, but Pepperdine answered with its own 9-0 run and went on top by four points on Cedric Suitt's dunk with 11:37 to go before halftime.
"We came out and they had great energy level and we were down five points," said Gottlieb. "Coach, instead of going nuts like some coaches do, sat us down and said, 'Look, guys, now's the time to start playing; relax and start playing.'" The Cowboys held a 35-31 advantage at the break before Sheppard opened the scoring after intermission with a three-point play and began to dominate the lane. Eventually, however, the Waves went cold from long range, hampering their chances of another upset.