Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

February 22, 2014

Cowboys rout Texas Tech in Smart's return

STILLWATER — Marcus Smart had 16 points, 10 assists and six steals in his return from a three-game suspension for shoving a fan, and Oklahoma State defeated Texas Tech 84-62 on Saturday afternoon to snap a seven-game losing streak.

Smart had been out of action since his incident with Tech fan Jeff Orr in the final seconds of Tech's 65-61 win in Lubbock on Feb. 8. The Cowboys lost all three games Smart missed, but on Saturday Smart sparked his team in the rematch with the Red Raiders by setting a career high for assists. He received a standing ovation when he left the game with just over a minute to play.

Le'Bryan Nash scored 21 points and Phil Forte added 20 for the Cowboys (17-10, 5-9 Big 12), who forced 15 turnovers.

Jordan Tolbert scored 15 points and Robert Turner added 10 for Texas Tech (13-14, 5-9).

The Red Raiders had won three of five, with the two losses to Top 25 teams Iowa State and Kansas coming by a combined seven points.

Oklahoma State honored the late Bob Kurland at halftime. The 7-foot center was a three-time first-team All-American and led OSU to its only two national championships.

The Cowboys also honored Kurland with their play.

The teams were relatively even through most of the first half until Oklahoma State got into a rhythm. It started with a defensive play. Markel Brown tipped the ball to Smart, who passed the ball behind his head back to Brown, who finished with a layup. A steal and layup by Smart and 3-pointers by Forte and Brown helped Oklahoma State take a 24-14 lead and caused Texas Tech to call a timeout.

The Red Raiders closed the gap to 30-25 before Smart finished the half with a flurry. He drove to the hoop and made a layup in traffic with 8 seconds left in the half, then stole the ball and scored again a second later to help the Cowboys take a 34-25 lead at the break.

Turner, Tech's point guard, played just 4 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. The Red Raiders' offense improved once Turner returned to the game, but the Cowboys responded to Tech's surge. Dunks by Nash and Kamari Murphy put Oklahoma State up 44-35.

Later, Smart got a steal, then the Cowboys pushed the ball downcourt and Smart found Brown for a layup. On Oklahoma State's next possession, Leyton Hammonds' 3-pointer bumped the Cowboys' lead to 59-42.

A left-handed jam by Smart gave Oklahoma State and 80-60 lead with just over 2 minutes to play.

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