Jamyron Keller’s strong debut leads Oklahoma St. past UNO

Freshman Jamyron Keller scored 18 points in his Oklahoma State debut and Javon Small added 16 points as the Cowboys picked up a much-needed win, beating the New Orleans Privateers 96-68 in Stillwater, Okla., on Monday night.

Eric Dailey Jr. collected 14 points and nine rebounds and ignited a second-half burst for the Cowboys. Mike Marsh chipped in 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The Cowboys (2-3) led wire to wire but struggled to put away New Orleans (2-2) for much of the game despite building double-digit leads a number of times.

Jordan Johnson paced New Orleans (2-2) with 23 points, but he shot only 6 of 17 from the floor. Tyson Jackson added 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

Oklahoma State caught fire in the second half, shooting 65.6 percent to finish at 58.1 percent. New Orleans was 41.8 percent for the night.

The Cowboys were also better from long range (34.5 percent to 23.5 percent) and outrebounded the visitors 41-25.

Down by 11 with about 13 minutes left in the game, the Privateers went on a capped a 10-2 run, capped by Jackson’s layup, to pull within 61-58.

Again, the Cowboys restored their margin, but this time for good. Dailey’s three-point play pushed the cushion back to 10, and by the time the 22-0 run ended, Oklahoma State led 87-60 with 3:58 to play.

John-Michael Wright scored six points in the burst, and Keller, who missed the first four games with a wrist injury, capped it with a 3-pointer, one of his four in seven attempts.

The Cowboys twice led by 10 with under eight minutes left in the first half, and two 3-pointers by Connor Dow and another by Keller helped them push the lead to 11 with 1:26 left.

As they had all half long, however, the Privateers bounced back. Johnson’s third trey of the half and a layup from Jah Short trimmed the deficit to 43-37 at the break.

Johnson led all scorers with 16 at halftime, though none of his teammates had more than four. New Orleans hit 41.4 percent of its shots. Small led Oklahoma State with 13 first-half points, although he picked up his second and third fouls just before and after the seven-minute mark.