Freshman Cade Cunningham scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his first collegiate game as Oklahoma State beat UT Arlington 75-68 on Wednesday in a back-and-forth, season-opening dustup in Arlington, Texas.
Cunningham, one of the nation's top-ranked recruits, is expected to be a one-and-done player for the Cowboys. He showcased his all-around game, adding three assists and plenty of yeoman's work on defense while playing the point for 37 minutes.
Oklahoma State led by double digits before surrendering all that margin and more to UT Arlington midway through the second half. The Cowboys took charge again by forcing the ball inside repeatedly down the stretch, taking advantage of their size advantage to wear down UT Arlington.
Keylan Boone added 10 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma State to record his first career double-double. Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe added 11 points, and Isaac Likekele had nine points and 13 rebounds for the Cowboys (1-0), who were picked in the preseason to finish seventh in the 10-team Big 12 Conference.
It was Oklahoma State's first game with two players with double-doubles since November 2014.
Shahada Wells led UT Arlington (0-1) with 21 points. David Azore added 14, all in the second half, and Nicolas Elame hit for 12 points for the Mavericks, who were chosen in the preseason to finish third in the Sun Belt Conference's West Division.
The Cowboys trailed by as many as six points early on before rallying to claim a 30-22 advantage on a jumper by Chris Harris Jr. with 2:38 to play in the half. They went to the intermission leading 32-27 as Cunningham led all scorers with 12 points after beginning the game 1-for-4 from the floor.
Jordan Phillips and Elame paced the Mavericks with six points over the first 20 minutes of play; 12 players saw action in the first half for UT Arlington.
Oklahoma State led by as many as 11 points at the 13:11 mark of the second half before the Mavericks used a 13-2 run to take a 49-47 advantage with 10:20 to play.
--Field Level Media