Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

March 13, 2014

Oklahoma State hammers Texas Tech in Big 12 tournament opener

Marcus Smart and the Cowboys dominated Red Raiders to earn a spot against Kansas in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Marcus Smart left one last impression on Texas Tech, and in doing so made sure that Oklahoma State would get its high-profile showdown with Kansas in the Big 12 tournament.

It just happens to be in the quarterfinals rather than the championship game.

The sophomore guard finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and six steals in a virtuoso performance Wednesday night, leading the seventh-seeded Cowboys to an 80-62 rout of No. 9 seed Texas Tech. It was the fifth win in six games for Oklahoma State, which along with the top-seeded Jayhawks was picked as one of the preseason favorites to win the league championship.

"We've had a lot of downfall this year and this season, but everything happens for a reason," said Smart, whose team weathered his three-game suspension for shoving a Texas Tech fan, not to mention a seven-game losing streak that put Oklahoma State's NCAA tournament hopes in jeopardy.

"When your back's against the wall," Smart said, "all you can do is lean on your teammates."

Teammates such as Markel Brown, who scored 20 points, and Phil Forte, who had 14 off the bench Wednesday night. Le'Bryan Nash added 10 points in a game that was under control by halftime.

"I think our best basketball is still ahead of us," Brown said.

Jaye Crockett led the Red Raiders (14-18) with 20 points, despite twisting his right knee and limping off the court in the first half. Dejan Kravic added 18 points and 12 rebounds.

"It's just frustrating when you put so much into it," Crockett said. "We got down, we weren't following the rules coach wants us to stick to and we made dumb mistakes."

The result was a season-ending loss for Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith, who had never had a losing record in 23 seasons coaching Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota and now the Red Raiders.

"It's a rude awakening, your first experience at this Big 12 tournament," Smith said with a shrug. "A lot of credit to Oklahoma State. They were ready."

Not at the start, when the Red Raiders raced to an 8-0 lead. But that turned out to be merely a charade as Oklahoma State turned up its full-court press, flustered the sloppy Red Raiders into 14 first-half turnovers and went on a 28-5 run to seize control of the game.

Brown and Smart did most of the damage during the decisive run, which ended with a play that might as well have been a microcosm of the entire first half: The Red Raiders' Robert Turner turned the ball over near midcourt, Brown ran out ahead of the pack and leaped up, throwing down a stylish reverse dunk that gave the Cowboys a 28-13 lead.

"Our offense wasn't clicking the first eight minutes and I just wanted to make a play for my team," Brown said. "That's when our defense came along."

Oklahoma State slowly pushed its advantage to 40-19 with a few minutes left in the half, then scored the final six points to carry a 46-23 lead into the break.

"I think we were just rushing things too much," Kravic said. "We didn't really make the passes, we rushed it too much and we let it get to our heads."

Texas Tech displayed a faint pulse out of the locker room, scoring the first seven points and forcing Cowboys coach Travis Ford to burn a timeout. But Smart scored to end the run, and then the Cowboys resumed their parade to the foul line, never allowing the Red Raiders to get close.

"We've been very aggressive the last five or six games," Ford said. "I was upset the way we started but I wasn't overly concerned. I thought we'd get into a flow."

Both teams seemed to go through the motions the last few minutes, the Red Raiders preparing for their long offseason and the Cowboys resting up for their marquee matchup with Kansas.

Oklahoma State lost to the Jayhawks on the road early in the conference season, and then beat them in Stillwater earlier this month. Both of the meetings came down to the wire.

"They're one of the great teams in the country and they've proven it all year long," Ford said. "It's going to be an incredible challenge. We have a lot of respect for Kansas. We understand how good they are."

1
Text Only
Sports
  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Really one true champion?

    I decided to spare the colleagues in front of me – and myself from making a scene – by holding back flipping my table at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas.
    I had become exhausted by the constant use and misrepresentation by the Big 12 with their moniker of “One True Champion.” If they are going to live with the slogan, then they need to abide by that slogan.
    Perhaps its a simple case that they are keeping constant with the poor math of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hill expected to be used in multiple facets

    The picture became a little clearer recently of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 23, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • shock pic.jpg Time to rest

    Shock beats San Antonio before entering All-Star break

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • McIlroy leads, Tiger Woods in contention after 1st day at British Open

    July 18, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Stocks