It was a bittersweet ending for Oklahoma State’s
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ It was a bittersweet ending for Oklahoma State’s Sean Sutton on the floor where his basketball career started five years ago.
″In looking back at my career, my final two years were in jeopardy and then I came to Oklahoma State and with four seniors we had a chance to go to the Final Four,″ a teary-eyed Sutton said after Michigan eliminated the Cowboys 75-72 in the NCAA Southeast Regional Friday night.
″Now my career is over,″ he said, a towel draped over his head. ″I’m glad I played for my father and thought we had a chance.″
Sutton spent his first two seasons playing for his father, Eddie, at Kentucky. They both left in 1989 after the school was rocked by an NCAA investigation that banned the school from participating in postseason play for two years.
Eddie Sutton spent a season out of coaching before accepting an offer to coach Oklahoma State. Sean also sat out a season before rejoining his father at Stillwater, Okla.
Last year the Cowboys advanced to round of 16, losing to Temple 72-63 in overtime. And this time Michigan ended the dream for the Suttons.
″I wanted to help my father get back to the Final Four and help him win a national championship,″ said Sutton, who scored 18 points. ″It’s hard for me right now.″
While Sutton’s career ended, Michigan’s much publicized ″Fab Five″ freshmen were confident they could continue winning.
″I think this team is getting better with every practice and every game,″ guard Jalen Rose said. ″Tonight was a good experience for us.″
Junior center Eric Riley, who lost his starting job to Chris Webber, one of the talented freshmen, came through with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
″I always knew I could do it,″ Riley said. ″I just went out and showed it.″
Eddie Sutton wasn’t surprised that Riley made a contribution after the Michigan front line got into foul trouble.
″Riley is a good basketball player,″ he said. ″He’d be starting on most teams in the country. That tells you what kind of team they have.″
And Michigan coach Steve Fisher liked what he saw as his team earned a spot in Sunday’s region final against Ohio State.
″We’re moving on into the round of eight,″ he said, ″and we feel good about ourselves now.″