Louisiana Tech vs Oklahoma State

Nash, Cowboys clip Bulldogs


OKLAHOMA CITY -- Marcus Smart will likely have more opportunities to play on an NBA court.

But the All-America guard -- and potential lottery pick -- decided not to force any shots and get his teammates more involved Saturday at Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Big 12 Conference's leading scorer took a backseat as Le'Bryan Nash scored 22 points and No. 7 Oklahoma State overcame a sluggish start to pull away for a 70-55 victory over Louisiana Tech.

Nash admitted that it was his day to lead the Cowboys (9-1), who hadn't played a game in more than a week. And with so many scoring options to defend, there was little Louisiana Tech (8-3) could do after cutting Oklahoma State's lead to 49-42 with 8:44 remaining.

''I wish I could have finished more shots,'' Nash said. ''I probably would have had a career high or something.''

With Louisiana Tech determined to slow down Smart, Nash grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and scored 15 of Oklahoma State's 31 points in the first half. Nash made six of his first 11 shots to pick up the slack for Smart, who finished with 13 points.

Smart was only 1-of-4 shooting in the first half, and he said he made a conscious effort to be more of an all-around player who created shots for his teammates. He added five rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Markel Brown had 13 points and Kamari Murphy added 10 for the Cowboys.

''I'm just trying to focus on making sure that I don't force a lot of things because I do have a talented group of guys around me that I really don't need to force things,'' Smart said. ''They can create also, so I just kind of let them get in the flow of their game.''

Chris Anderson scored 14 points and Alex Hamilton added 12 points for Louisiana Tech, which held Oklahoma State scoreless over the first four minutes of the game. But the Bulldogs couldn't maintain the energy down the stretch.

The Cowboys used their athleticism and multiple scoring options to turn a close game into a lopsided victory in the All-College Classic.

''I thought we'd be more competitive to be honest, but I just think that we struggled so much from an offensive standpoint,'' Louisiana Tech coach Mike White said. ''[We] had a lot of droughts offensively, couldn't really get into a rhythm.''

Louisiana Tech trailed by only seven points with less than nine minutes remaining, but Smart helped build Oklahoma State's lead back to double digits. He put back a missed shot, then found Murphy for a dunk to put the Cowboys ahead 55-42 with 6:25 remaining.

Oklahoma State hadn't played since a 79-52 rout of South Carolina on Dec. 6.

The Cowboys struggled early to regain their rhythm and didn't score their first point until Josh Butler hit a free throw with 15:41 remaining in the first half.

Oklahoma State missed all five of its 3-point attempts and made only 7 of 13 free throws in the first half, allowing Louisiana Tech to hang around into the second half.

''[We] didn't get off to a good start,'' Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. ''We can contribute it to taking eight days off, finals week, different things, but we just didn't make good decisions offensively early in the game.''

Louisiana Tech, on the other hand, looked fresh playing its second game in four days and facing its highest ranked opponent since the two teams met in 1991.

The Bulldogs relied on their defense to take a 3-0 lead in the opening minutes and hold the Cowboys to just 38.7 percent shooting in the first half.

But Nash and Smart created some fast-break opportunities, and Oklahoma State used a 10-2 run midway through the first half to take a lead it never relinquished.

The Cowboys expanded their lead to 22 points and pulled away for their second consecutive win following their only loss of the season, a 73-68 defeat to No. 16 Memphis.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Louisiana Tech (8-3)183755
Oklahoma State #7 (9-1) «313970
LATECH:C. Anderson 14 Pts
LATECH:C. Anderson 8 Reb
LATECH:K. Smith 3 Ast
OKLAST:L. Nash 22 Pts
OKLAST:L. Nash 10 Reb
OKLAST:M. Smart 5 Ast

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Louisiana TechOklahoma State
Chris Anderson
Le'Bryan Nash
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
C. Anderson, F296-142-480414
R. Appleby, G284-150-03029
A. Hamilton, G284-92-330312
K. Smith, G273-120-23326
M. Kyser, F190-00-04120
I. Massey, F160-20-05030
K. McNeail, G152-50-01136
C. Johnson, G140-32-23102
J. Johnson, G142-30-02015
G. Talbot, F-C70-01-23001
S. Gjuroski, F30-10-00000
E. McCree, FDid Not Play
L. Edwards, FDid Not Play
J. Butler, FDid Not Play
Totals 21-647-133561955
Oklahoma State Cowboys
M. Brown, G-F335-132-464313
L. Nash, G-F328-176-8101122
M. Smart, G323-87-755213
B. Williams, G-F224-81-25119
M. Cobbins, F-C190-20-04030
K. Murphy, F-C235-50-131210
S. Clark, G121-50-00013
P. Forte, G100-10-01110
M. Soucek, F-C20-10-00000
G. Gaskins, F-C20-00-00000
L. Hammonds, G-F20-00-00000
C. Sager, G-FDid Not Play
M. Cox, F-CDid Not Play
F. Stuen, GDid Not Play
A. Budke, GDid Not Play
J. Carroll, G-FDid Not Play
J. Perez, GDid Not Play
Totals 26-6016-2234131570
Conference USA
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Middle Tenn.0-07-214
Old Dominion0-08-359
La. Tech0-07-489
So. Miss0-07-4257
Western Ky.0-07-466
North Texas0-07-5256
UT-San Antonio0-07-5240

Big 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Texas Tech0-09-143
W. Virginia0-09-111
Kansas St.0-09-2167
Iowa St.0-08-241
Oklahoma St.0-08-2176
Other games
WKY 63 Final
LOU 79
ARIZ 72 Final
EKY 61 Final
TENN 61 Final
NIU 54 Final
MIST 67 Final
OAK 63
UK 77 Final
UNC 82
NMEX 63 Final
KAN 80
NDST 62 Final
ILL 64 Final
ORE 71
USA 59 Final