Stillwater News Press

OSU Sports

January 15, 2014

No. 9 Cowboys take care of business against struggling TCU

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State just went through the motions during Wednesday's game against Texas Christian University in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

There was no drama for the ninth-ranked Cowboys in their warmup before Saturday's marquee matchup at Kansas, with OSU rolling to a 82-50 victory over the bottom team of the Big 12 Conference.

"We’ve just been going out there and playing our style of basketball and trying to get into a rhythm and trying to keep the chemistry alive and move the ball around," OSU senior Markel Brown said. "We’re trying to pick up assists on offense, and I think we did a good job of that tonight."

Oklahoma State got out to an early lead with a trio of Pokes knocking down the outside shot. Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Phil Forte combined for 7 of 10 from 3-point range in the first half to give OSU a 14-point advantage at the break.

Smart, who finished with a game-high 20 points and five assists, knocked down his first three 3-point attempts to get OSU out to a 9-4 lead before Brown and Forte joined in on the shooting exhibition.

"That was great to make shots early in the game. For the most part, everyone had a good percentage for this game and it’s going to be huge going into next game," Brown said. "It’s good when you come off shooting a good night for the next game."

Contributing to the easy victory for Oklahoma State was the lopsided lead in the rebounding. With one of their top rebounders and the tallest player on the squad, Michael Cobbins, out for the year with an Achilles injury, the Cowboys came together to best the Horned Frogs on the glass by 13.

OSU had four players — Le'Bryan Nash, Kamari Murphy, Brown and Smart — grab eight boards a piece to finish with 46 rebounds — with 13 coming on the offensive end.

"That's exactly what we're going to need," Ford said. "We need Brian (Williams, who finished with four boards) to chip in there a little bit. But some times, we other guys are getting eight each, there's not many to be gotten. It's a total collective effort and that's really what we've been talking about the last couple of days."

With the game well in hand in the second half, Ford elected to get Nash in an offensive rhythm — which also helped Oklahoma State extend its lead.

The junior from Dallas scored 11 of his 13 points in the final 20 minutes and was one of four Cowboys to score double digits in the win — along with Smart, Brown (14) and Brian Williams (10).

"I didn't like his approach in the first half, I think he was taking a few things for granted," the Cowboy coach said. "What I loved about LB was in the second half he went to about fifth gear, he was playing physical.

"The first shot of the half, he goes up and gets an offensive rebound. His approach was much different, and we went to him a lot to see if he was ready to go."

The Cowboys will venture to Kansas next for a Saturday contest at Allen Fieldhouse, where OSU came away with an upset a year ago. The 3 p.m. game between the two teams picked to win the Big 12 Conference will be televised on CBS.

"Kansas is a great basketball team, maybe one of the most talented teams in the country and deepest team in the country," Ford said. "We understand the challenge ahead of us."

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