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Updated: Sunday, December 5, 2004 12:12 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(7) Oklahoma St 81, Washington St 29

STILLWATER, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- After failing to score in the first nine-plus minutes of the game, the snowball only grew bigger for Washington State.

John Lucas scored 19 points and Joey Graham added 18 as No. 7 Oklahoma State held an opponent to its lowest point total in 52 years with an 81-29 crushing of Washington State.

The Cowboys, who have limited opponents to 39 percent (103-of-267) shooting this season, held a foe to its lowest point total since December 2, 1952 when they beat New Mexico State, 55-29.

"We came out with the mentality that we are not going to let our man score," Oklahoma State forward Ivan McFarlin said. "In the first half, it was real good. Everyone came out and played real hard. That is the type of defense we need all the time. We cannot play defense for 20 minutes and then let off."

Committing nine turnovers before it scored its first basket 9:23 into the contest, Washington State went down 29-2 after Lucas converted three straight free throws, getting fouled on a 3-point attempt with 4:56 remaining.

"It was a great demonstration of a very good team and a very bad team," Washington State coach Dick Bennett said. "The very good team demonstrated why it is, and the very bad team demonstrated why it is.

"We knew we were going to have to go through this until we get some players back. Our freshman weren't ready to play in this kind of setting, but I wanted them to see it. Now I'm not sure it was such a great idea. I'm very disappointed with the lack of fundamentals and competitiveness."

The Cougars are without freshmen Derrick Low, who was expected to take over the point for Marcus Moore, and Chris Henry due to injuries. Low broke a bone in his foot in fall practice and Henry suffered multiple ligament damage to his right ankle in a pickup game in October.

Washington State, which mustered just 10 points in the first half, tied a school record for their largest margin of defeat, matching a 93-41 loss to UCLA back in 1965.

Lucas, who had 11 points in the first half, finished 6-of-12 from the field with four 3-pointers. He also had five assists without a turnover.

Graham made 8-of-10 shots and Frans Steyn scored 15 points for Oklahoma State (5-0), which scored the first 13 points of the game and also put together a 16-0 run in the first half.

"I started out kinda slow because of the two fouls, but as a team we played great defense like (Eddie Sutton) expected us to," Graham said. "If we continue to play defense like we did in today's game, there is no telling how far we will be able to go."

The Cowboys held their opponent to a season-low 22 percent (12-of-55) shooting and pounded the Cougars on the boards by a 44-22 margin.

"In all my years, I have never run into that kind of defensive intensity for as long as they played it," Bennett said. "Their defense has been playing good, but today was excellent."

Thomas Kelati scored eight points on 3-of-11 shooting for Washington State (3-2), which dropped to 7-54 in games the season after its opponent went to the Final Four, including 0-10 against non-conference foes.


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