By Times staff and wire reports
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 6, 2001
STILLWATER, Okla. -- When the game was over and his Oklahoma State team had beaten Missouri, coach Eddie Sutton couldn't help himself. He cried.
Sutton had led the Cowboys to a 69-66 victory Monday night in their first game since a Jan. 27 plane crash in Colorado killed two players and eight members of the team's traveling party.
"This game was one of the most important games I've ever coached in," said Sutton, who has coached 935 games in 31 years. "It would have been devastating not to win.
"It's a very, very important win ... because it continues this healing process that all of us are going through."
Spurred by a boisterous crowd, the Cowboys used a second-half run to take the lead and held on at the end. Fredrik Jonzen tied a career best with 26 points.
"This past week has probably been one of the toughest times in my life, if not the worst," Jonzen said. "And tonight was probably the best."
Many in the crowd, along with the coaches from both schools, wore orange ribbons in memory of the victims. The main lobby of the arena remained filled with flowers and handwritten messages to the victims.
The game program was dedicated to the victims and the cover featured a picture of each. The lineup sheets provided to media listed the names of players Dan Lawson and Nate Fleming, with a ribbon alongside each.
"It was hard to just focus on basketball," said OSU's Andre Williams, who had 15 rebounds. "I'm just used to looking over and glancing at a couple of faces that weren't there."
In a letter printed in the Daily O'Collegian, the school newspaper, Fleming's family urged Oklahoma State fans not to make the arena "a reverent place."
NO. 12 IOWA ST. 79, NO. 5 KANSAS 77: Kantrail Horton, who hit all four of his three-pointers, scored 19 to lead the upset for the visiting Cyclones. Jamaal Tinsley added 18 points.
Iowa State, the defending Big 12 champion, hit 11 threes and held off a late surge to beat the Jayhawks for the fourth straight time.
NO. 15 G'TOWN 81, PITT 67: Mike Sweetney's 24 points led the visiting Hoyas in the Big East.
NO. 20 NOTRE DAME 83, ST. JOHN'S 73: Troy Murphy had 34 points and 11 rebounds as the host Irish overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half in a Big East matchup.
COPPIN ST. 85, FAMU 59: Joe Brown scored a career-high 35 and Larry Tucker added 16 for the host Eagles. The Rattlers shot 28 percent from the field.
TAMPA -- USF center Mike Bernard had an MRI exam Monday to determine the extent of a knee injury he sustained last week.
Bernard, a junior college transfer from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, twisted his knee during practice Friday, coach Seth Greenberg said. "He may have blown out an ACL," Greenberg said.
Bernard, a native of Oldham, England, has played in 15 games and started two. He averaged 1.5 points and six minutes a game.
Greenberg said he had hoped Bernard would provide a strong presence off the bench in junior forward B.B. Waldon's absence. Waldon, the team's second-leading scorer, is suspended indefinitely for behavior unacceptable for a member of the team. "He gave it a go Saturday, but he couldn't get anything going," Greenberg said of Bernard, who played 1 minute in an 82-72 loss at Tulane. With seniors Chonsey Asbury and Artha Reeves nursing knee injuries, the Bulls practiced with nine players Monday.
GAINESVILLE -- Florida sophomore guard Justin Hamilton had surgery to reconstruct a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and correct cartilage damage. Hamilton injured his knee Jan. 17 as he drove for a layup during the Gators' loss to Georgia. The starter from Sarasota is not expected to return this season.
LOUISVILLE: Attorneys for the NCAA asked the Kentucky Court of Appeals to set aside a judge's order that has enabled Nigerian Muhammed Lasege to play basketball. They argued that a circuit judge was wrong to grant Lasege an injunction after a committee of the NCAA declared Lasege ineligible.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Freshman forward Rolando Howell could miss significant time because of possible ligament damage in his left ankle.
AP TOP 25: North Carolina moved into the top spot in the poll, the 80th time UNC has been ranked No. 1. Florida moved up five spots to eighth.
FSU 89, GA. TECH 69: Brooke Wyckoff scored 30 and sparked a second-half rally for host FSU (13-8, 5-5 ACC).
ARIZONA: Junior guard Tysell Bozeman, who started 12 games, was dismissed for violation of team rules.
UCONN: All-American Svetlana Abrosimova's season is over because of a torn ligament in her left foot. The senior forward was injured going up for a rebound in a loss at Tennessee.
TENNESSEE: Tamika Catchings had surgery to repair her torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee.
AP TOP 25: Notre Dame held the No. 1 in the poll for the third straight week.
- Staff writer Antonya English and correspondent Debi Jones contributed to this report.
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