Oklahoma State basketball: Cowboys beat Central Arkansas
The No. 24 Cowboys romped past Central Arkansas 91-63 before an estimated crowd of 5,000 at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Sunday.
STILLWATER — As time wound down Sunday, Alex Budke found himself with the ball. Near the basket. Open.
And he passed, drawing groans from the Gallagher-Iba Arena crowd and his teammates.
Ah, but the feel-good moment wasn't lost, as the Cowboys worked the ball back to Budke, this time in the right corner, where he fired a 3-pointer that swished through, setting off easily the loudest approving cheer in a 91-63 rout of Central Arkansas.
That's the kind of Sunday it was — or at least became — for No. 24 Oklahoma State, which improved to 8-1.
Budke, a walk-on transfer and the son of Kurt Budke, the late Cowgirls coach, scored the first points of his Division I career. So did Ford Stuen, the walk-on nephew of OSU coach Travis Ford. Christien Sager, another walk-on who played a valuable role on a depleted roster a year ago, scored his first points of the season and grabbed five rebounds. Mason Cox, yet another walk-on, grabbed a rebound.
For a group that plays a key role in the Cowboys' practices, as injuries have limited available bodies, it was a reward of sorts.
“They deserve it,” Ford said. “You wouldn't believe how hard they practice. And how hard they go about it every day and all we ask them to do. It's not normal for guys in their position to do what we ask them to do … and then not get to play.
“So very proud of them, very happy for them. And I'm glad our guys were excited for them, doesn't surprise me.”
The Cowboys regulars did their part, taking off after a stuttering start that saw the Bears take a surprising early 22-11 lead, prompting two quick Ford timeouts. But OSU closed the half with a 31-8 run, built a lead of 31 at one point, and rolled to an easy win.
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