Share “James Anderson propels Cowboys”

BY JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, Modified: December 22, 2009 at 5:42 am •  Published: December 22, 2009
As timed ticked away on the first half Monday night, James Anderson drifted back, then further back, before coolly drilling a 3-pointer from some 25 feet away.

The shot offset a La Salle surge, something Anderson had a knack for, leading Oklahoma State’s 77-62 win in the All-College Classic.

Anderson scored a game-high 28 points and helped defensively on La Salle leading scorer Rodney Green, earning Most Valuable Player honors for the game. The OSU junior made 10 of 21 shots from the floor, scoring in every way — popping 3s, dropping runner jumpers in the lane and slashing hard to the hoop.

"That’s why James is one of the best players in the country,” said OSU coach Travis Ford. "Everybody’s game plan coming in is to try and stop him. And he still gets 28.”

Defensively, the Cowboys had a focused game plan, too: slow Green, who at 6-foot-5, presented potential matchup misery for OSU’s 5-9 guards, Ray Penn and Keiton Page.

Green eventually got his points, finishing with 22 to pace La Salle, yet he made just three of his 10 shots in the first half and seven of 17 for the game, while committing four turnovers.

The Cowboys threw multiple defensive looks at La Salle and Green, eventually turning to Anderson late.

"He hit a couple 3s down the stretch and was giving them some good points,” Anderson said. "Coach put me on him, and I just tried to do the best I could on him. We all kept rotating and getting him tired and I think kind of wore him down there toward the end.

"That was our game plan, just to have a body on him and press him the whole time.”

La Salle’s strategies for Anderson weren’t nearly as effective.

The Cowboys bolted to a big early lead, going up 23-7 less than 12 minutes in. The Explorers never led, but crept close on several occasions, with a late first-half burst cutting OSU’s lead to seven, 33-26.

That’s when Anderson fired up his long 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining in the half, boosting the bulge back to double digits.

"I noticed the shot clot,” Anderson said.

Boxscore: Oklahoma St. 77, La Salle 62


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