In 75 years, Gallagher-Iba Arena has seen many a memorable moment. Here are 10 that top the list:
1. Feb. 21, 1957: Chopping down Wilt
Already a mythic figure, sophomore Wilt Chamberlain would lead Kansas to the NCAA championship game. And Chamberlain scored 32 points on the Cowboys. But Henry Iba’s team, including junior guard Eddie Sutton, played KU tough, and Mel Wright nailed a last-second shot to give the Cowboys a 56-54 upset.
2. March 4, 1978: Jackson’s pin
Maybe the loudest night in Gallagher’s 75-year history came when OSU rallied to beat Iowa State for the Big Eight wrestling championship. First, Daryl Monasmith upset defending NCAA champ Frank Santana of Iowa State to give the Cowboys a chance. With the arena still buzzing, heavyweight Jimmy Jackson pinned ISU’s Tom Waldon in 22 seconds as windows broke and lightbulbs popped from the noise.
3. Feb. 24, 1993: Big Country goes Cross Country
OSU seemed doomed when Missouri took a 64-61 lead with three seconds left. But 7-foot center Bryant Reeves caught a half-court inbounds pass, turned and banked in a shot from 40 feet away. Gallagher-Iba Arena exploded, and the Cowboys won going away in overtime.
4. Jan. 15, 2007: Super Mario
Texas’ Kevin Durant showed Oklahomans what was to come, with 37 points and 12 rebounds. But the Gallagher-Iba crowd went home happy thanks to Mario Boggan. The junior-college transfer dueled Durant evenly with 37 points and 15 rebounds, including the game-winning 20-footer with 3.3 seconds left that gave OSU a 105-103 victory in triple overtime.
5. Feb. 19, 1982: Doctor Mitch
Bedlam wrestling was near its zenith in the early 1980s, with OU supplying arch-villains like heavyweight Steve Williams. Dr. Death was heavily favored against junior-college transfer Mitch Shelton. Williams needed only a draw to supply Sooner victory, but the 420-pound Shelton caught Williams in the second period and produced a pin that blew the roof off Gallagher Hall.
6. Dec. 6, 1980: Halfcourt Hannon
Louisville was the defending NCAA champion, and OSU’s program was mired in a decades-long malaise. But when Louisville, leading by one point, missed a foul shot with four seconds left, Eddie Hannon grabbed the rebound, dribbled upcourt and launched a shot just before the midcourt line. It swished through, and the Cowboys had a 74-73 victory.
7. Jan. 31, 2001: Gallagher-Iba goes silent
The rowdiest arena in America went somber for a memorial service for the 10 men killed in an OSU basketball plane crash. Basketball dignitaries and OSU alumni from all over the country convened to mourn and hear father figures Eddie Sutton and Harry Birdwell try to bring comfort to a broken-hearted school.
8. Jan. 18, 1966: Little Big Man
Wrestling at heavyweight, OSU 177-pounder Bill Harlow gave up 80 pounds but beat OU's Luke Sharpe 4-1 to give the Cowboys a 15-14 dual victory and set off a wild celebration.
9. Feb. 23, 1946: Kurland’s 58 points
The drama wasn’t the score — the Cowboys routed Saint Louis 86-33 — but the scoring. Bob Kurland began piling up the points and eventually was within reach of George Mikan’s national record of 53. With 21/2 minutes left, Kurland surpassed the total. He finished with 58 points, which remains the OSU record.
10. Jan. 13, 1956: Bedlam deadlock
In front of the biggest wrestling crowd ever at the time, 8,200, the Cowboys and Sooners tied 12-12 in a dual filled with former NCAA champions and future legends. Myron Roderick and Doug Blubaugh wrestled for OSU, Danny Hodge and Dick Delgado for OU.