STILLWATER, OKLA. It has been nine days since the Oklahoma State basketball team played a game. Nine days that may seem like nine months.
The Cowboys have spent their time mourning the loss of two teammates and eight other members of the team's traveling party. All were killed the night of Jan. 27 when the small plane in which they were traveling crashed in Colorado.
Now, finally, it's time to play again.
"I think we do need to get back and start playing games," said junior Fredrik Jonzen. "I think it's going to help all of us get through this."
OSU (13-4, 4-2 Big 12) plays host to Missouri (14-6, 5-2) tonight. The game was scheduled for Saturday, but it was pushed back in order to let the team attend the funeral of trainer Brian Luinstra.
OSU's first organized practice after the crash was Tuesday, and coach Eddie Sutton said it was one of the better practices his team has had. A memorial service followed on Wednesday at Gallagher-Iba Arena, and funerals have been a part of just about every day since then.
Sutton said last week that he expects his team to respond positively to the tragedy.
"This group of guys has proven to me that they will dedicate themselves to Dan Lawson and Nate Fleming. They'll want to do everything they can to win as many games as possible," Sutton said. "I think they also understand that the schedule we have remaining is very challenging."
Lawson and Fleming were the two players killed. The Cowboys plan a moment of silence before today's game to honor the 10 who died.
After playing tonight, the Cowboys travel to Nebraska for a game Wednesday. They close out the week Saturday at Kansas.