By Jeff Latzke Associated Press
STILLWATER, Okla. — Travis Ford delivered his pregame speech, trying to fire up his Oklahoma State players for their season opener on Saturday. Then came the shocking news: The officials weren’t at the arena yet.
When the delay was over and the game started — 1 hour, 40 minutes late — the Cowboys proved they were ready to go.
James Anderson scored 22 points and had 15 rebounds, and Marshall Moses added 17 points and 11 rebounds as Oklahoma State beat Seattle 86-64.
OSU blamed the mix-up on organizers of the Las Vegas Invitational tournament, claiming that officials were told the game’s starting time was 7 p.m. The tip-off was scheduled 5½ hours earlier.
Each of the tournament’s eight schools play four games, two at campus sites and two at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Nov. 27-28.
Even after the officials arrived, the delays weren’t finished. Cameron Dollar, making his coaching debut for Seattle, took his team to a nearby Quizno’s for a pregame sandwich run, and the Redhawks weren’t at the arena when OSU went through its layup lines.
Dollar said he had been told the game would start at 1:30 p.m., then at 2. Finally, at 2:30, he decided to stop waiting.
“We told them to call us when the refs show up,” Dollar said.
Dollar, the former UCLA star, said his team hadn’t eaten since 9 a.m.
“It was better, in my opinion, than sitting in the locker room getting a timeline or waiting for a timeline as to when we’re going to start,” Dollar said. “We got out and moved around a little bit. Most of them just got like a little half of a sandwich, if anything at all.
“It was just something to kind of occupy the time and make it go by faster as we were waiting for the referees to show up.”
Oklahoma State (1-0) scored the game’s first seven points, extended its lead with a 13-2 run midway through the first half.
Charles Garcia scored 18 and Aaron Broussard added 12 points as Seattle (0-1) shot 31 percent.
“We would have been probably shell-shocked regardless of whether it started on time or started 10 hours from now,” Dollar said. “This is the first time being in this type of environment for pretty much all of my guys.”
Obi Muonelo had 12 points and Keiton Page 11 for OSU. Matt Pilgrim, a transfer from Kentucky, started but scored just two points in 10 minutes before fouling out midway through the second half.
The pep band joined many students and other fans in exiting early, with the game appearing out of hand and kickoff approaching for the Cowboys’ football game against Texas Tech.
Seattle made a late 17-0 push to cut its deficit to 61-51, but that’s as close as it got.
“You’ve just got to be ready to go,” “From what I understand, they didn’t start the game earlier than we did. We both started it at the same time. You’ve just got to go play.”