Oklahoma State basketball: The numbers behind Avery Anderson’s 34-point game vs. ISU

Avery Anderson III scored a career-high 34 points in Oklahoma State basketball’s 84-81 overtime loss to No. 23 Iowa State. It was the highest point total in a single game for any Cowboy player so far this season.

The Cowboys (10-9, 3-5 Big 12) were down by one point with 15 seconds remaining when a putback shot by Moussa Cisse was controversially ruled as a goaltending violation. The Cylcones sank their remaining two free throws to ice the game and emerge from Gallagher-Iba Arena with the overtime win.

Izaiah Brockington scored 26 points for Iowa State, which now improves to 15-5 (3-5) for the season. The Cyclones, despite the Top 25 ranking, have struggled in conference play and got their first Big 12 road win of the season in Stillwater.

In the OT loss to Iowa State, Oklahoma State basketball guard Avery Anderson III had the second-highest OSU scoring total under coach Mike Boynton.

The Cyclones appear to be greatly improved this year under first-year head coach TJ Otzelberger, who took over a program that was historically bad last season: a 2-22 record and a winless mark in league play for the first time in school history since 1937.

Anderson’s scoring effort marks only the second time in the past five years that a Cowboy has scored 34 or more points in a game. The other, of course, was Cade Cunningham, who scored 40 points in the overtime 94-90 Bedlam win in February 2021. After being named an All-American, Cunningham would go on to become the No. 1 overall NBA Draft selection of the Detroit Pistons.

Only seven other OSU players have scored 34 or more points in a Big 12 Conference game: James Anderson, Mario Boggan, Cade Cunningham, JamesOn Curry, Jawun Evans, Joey Graham, and Keiton Page. Anderson now joins that list after last night’s scoring performance.

Overall in Oklahoma State school history, Anderson’s 34-point night ranks within the Top 40 Cowboy performances all-time.

Only three OSU players have surpassed Anderson’s single-game point total in the last decade: Marcus Smart, Jawun Evans, and Cade Cunningham.

Anderson connected on five three-pointers and hit 11-of-13 free throws to fuel the scoring outburst. The Justin, Tex. native added five assists, three rebounds, and two steals for the Cowboys, who came up just short in overtime.

Overall, he connected on 9-of-16 field goals, marking the fifth time this season that he’s shot better than 50 percent from the floor.

The Iowa State game was only Anderson’s sixth game of his three-year OSU career in which he hit multiple three-pointers. Typically a slasher who can finish acrobatically around the rim, Anderson’s outside shot has improved in each of his years in Stillwater.

So far this season, the junior guard is hitting more than one-third of his three-point attempts while averaging 11.3 points per contest.

Anderson’s previous career-high was the regular-season finale of the 2020-21 season, when he powered the shorthanded Cowboys with 31 points on the road to defeat then-No. 6 West Virginia.

This season, Anderson’s previous high scoring total was a 29-point performance against Cleveland State — a game that resulted in an overtime Cowboys win.