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December 20, 2007

ORU claws OSU in OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY - Scott Sutton got another signature win for his blossoming program at tiny Oral Roberts. He just wishes it didn't have to come at his brother's expense.

Robert Jarvis scored 21 points to help Oral Roberts beat Oklahoma State 74-59 Thursday night and give Scott Sutton a win against older brother Sean in the first meeting between the two as head coaches.

"I'm happy for my players. I'm happy for my program and our school. It's a big win," Scott Sutton said. "But I promise you there wasn't a whole lot of enjoyment for me personally."

The brothers, who had been on opposing staffs as assistants before, had been reluctant to face each other and Sean Sutton called it a "favor" to get his younger brother's program a rare television appearance.

It turned into the second victory against a Big 12 opponent in the past two years for the Golden Eagles (7-4), who also pulled off an upset at third-ranked Kansas last season.

"We knew it was a big game for us and for coach," said Jarvis, a freshman who has scored at least 10 points in each of his 11 career games. "All in all, when it comes down to it and they're at the table for Christmas, we wanted Coach Sutton to have the bragging rights."

Eddie Sutton, their father, won 798 games at Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State. He watched from a courtside seat across from the Cowboys' bench and cheered lightly when each was introduced.

He watched most of the game with his left elbow resting on a table, occasionally resting his chin in his hand. There was little drama after he was inducted into the All-College Classic Hall of Fame at halftime.

Two days after a 10-point loss at No. 4 Texas, Oral Roberts took control early and led by double digits throughout the second half.

"We're just not very tough right now, and that's my fault. I've got to do a better job in that area," Sean Sutton said. "Scott did a great job tonight, and I did a terrible job with my team."

[db]Byron Eaton and Terrel Harris hit back-to-back 3-pointers in an eight-point run by Oklahoma State (5-5) that made it 62-49 with 5:22 remaining, but Oral Roberts fired right back with a 10-0 run that ended on back-to-back 3-pointers by Moses Ehambe and Jarvis.

Eaton then reeled off eight consecutive points in a last-ditch run that came way too late.

The Sutton brothers shook hands and shared a brief word at the final buzzer, while their father left his seat and headed out a courtside tunnel immediately after the game ended.

"I hurt for Sean and his program. I've got a lot of friends on that staff," said Scott Sutton. "But I'm really really excited and proud of my team and my program."

Ehambe finished with 15 points, Adam Liberty added 13 and Shawn King and Marcus Lewis each scored 11 for Oral Roberts, which has made it to the last two NCAA tournaments as the champions of the Mid-Continent Conference (now renamed the Summit League).

Marcus Dove led Oklahoma State with 18 points despite missing the first 5 minutes of the second half after injuring his right knee just before halftime. Eaton scored all 15 of his points in the second half, and Harris had all but one of his 10 points after halftime.

James Anderson, the Cowboys' leading scorer with a 19.3-point average, was held scoreless and tried only five shots.

"It was a lot different than anything that I've experienced coaching for a lot of years now. It was awkward, but his team seemed really focused and responded. I was shocked the way we played," Sean Sutton said. "I don't think I've ever been this embarrased, but that's part of the game," he added.

The Golden Eagles' lead was never threatened after a 16-2 run midway through the first half that featured eight points from Jarvis, including two of his four 3-pointers. Marchello Vealy's two free throws with 8:30 left before halftime extended the Golden Eagles' lead to 22-12.

"If we would have come out and fought and it was a one-point or two-point game, (Sean Sutton) would have been feeling a lot better knowing that we did go out there and fight for him," Eaton said. "If I was a coach and we did what we did tonight, I would feel like my team turned their back on me."


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