STILLWATER, Okla. — Sunday was a special one for Lindy Waters.
Not only did the Oklahoma State senior guard score a few late buckets to help seal a home win over a tough Yale squad in Gallagher-Iba Arena, but he was also able to show his appreciation for a handful of people in a postgame ceremony that coincided with the annual N7 day to honor Native Americans.
Waters, of Kiowa/Cherokee heritage, scored a handful of the Cowboys’ final points in their 64-57 win over Yale. He led all players with 19 points – eight of which came during the final 2 minutes and 20 seconds when the game was down to a single possession.
“My teammates put me in great position and gave me great passes and great screens,” Waters said. “Me being ready to shoot – we practice that every single day – and the ball fell. … I was just happy to get a win for my team."
The OSU offense was struggling late when Yale pulled within two points, but Waters hit a pair of daggers in the Bulldogs’ heart. Waters sank two 3-pointers – the second of which came late in the shot clock – to put the Cowboys ahead by a margin they wouldn’t relinquish.
“It was very fitting,” OSU coach Mike Boynton said. “I don’t necessarily believe in coincidences, so it’s fitting on a night where he wasn’t his best that when we needed it, he was able to put us up over the top.”
OSU held on to win, thanks to a couple of defensive stops. The Cowboys’ defense was key to the win, as they shot only 40 percent from the field, including 4 of 19 from 3-point range.
“Like I told my team, there are no bad wins,” Boynton said. “We’ll take it, and we’ll figure out a way to learn from it and try to get better for next time.”
Following the win, thousands of fans stuck around to watch Waters and his family perform an Honoring and Giveaway ceremony that is done in their culture. Waters gave gifts to those who have helped him along his journey at OSU.
It was a special ceremony for the Norman native.
“It meant a lot to me and my family,” Waters said. “I’ve been here for four years and this university helps me preview my culture in certain way, and it’s a university that’s shown me a lot of love, compassion and resource to be successful. It just meant a lot to me and my family.”
Many of those who received gifts were in the Cowboy basketball program. He also gave gifts to OSU President Burns Hargis and wife Ann Hargis, along with OSU athletic director Mike Holder.
Boynton received the “circle of life” blanket, which is the highest honor given away by the Waters family.
“That blanket is the highest honor blanket we can give to somebody,” Waters said. “Coach Mike is a mentor to me and has put me in a position to be successful. He’s pushed me and given me confidence every single day. You can’t ask much else of a coach.
“… Every single person has a different role and they all do their jobs to a ’T’ every single day. Even my teammates, I have to give them credit, as well. They didn’t get any gifts today, but they were out there battling with me. It feels great to give back to the people who help me.”
Boynton nearly became emotional when talking about the blanket after the game.
“It’s really what you get into coaching for – is to have such an impact on a kid’s life that he feels like he wants to do something like that for your,” Boynton said. “Shy of getting emotional, it means a big deal to me, and it’s probably one of the highlights of my coaching career at this moment.”
In celebration with the N7 day, there was a Native American ceremonial performance at halftime. The Cowboys also wore their annual turquoise uniforms. Waters and his family also gave free T-shirts to the first 500 fans.
The Cowboys are back in action at 7 p.m. Friday when they host Western Michigan.