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No. 15 OSU Falls To Unbeaten Virginia Tech

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BLACKSBURG, Virginia -

Chalk this one up as a learning experience.

The youthful No. 15 Oklahoma State Cowboys met Virginia Tech in a battle of unbeaten's on the hardwood on Saturday in Blacksburg, where the Hokies handed OSU its first loss of the season.

OSU had ample opportunity to claw back in after Tech took a second half advantage, but missed free throws, ill-timed turnovers and a plethora fouls left the Cowboys on the wrong end of an 81-71 final.

The score itself isn't indicative of how close the game actually was, as OSU trailed 73-69 with under a minute remaining and played a tight game throughout.

OSU's dynamic duo Le'Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart finished with 18 points each to lead the way for the Cowboys, who lost to VT for the third time in the past two seasons, but the Hokies' Erick Green proved to be too much for the Pokes down the stretch.

Green entered the game as the nation's fifth-leading scorer and he looked every bit of it on Saturday, scoring a game-high 28 points, including eight free throws in the final 76 seconds of the game to ice the victory for the Hokies.

Smart had another stat-sheet-stuffing outing with 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals and zero turnovers to go with his 18 points. He did struggle shooting, connecting on just 5-of-15 shots and 1-of-4 from 3. He made 7-of-9 free throws but the misses came at inopportune moments down the stretch.

Nash pulled down four rebounds and dished out four assists while committing just one turnover.

OSU played a clean game with just eight turnovers but the Pokes were done in by an abysmal shooting performance from the 3-point line (17.4 percent on 4-for-23) and were also outrebounded 37-29. The Cowboys also committed 23 fouls to VT's 16, resulting in 27-for-33 free-throw shooting by the Hokies while OSU had just 11 makes on 15 attempts. Obviously all were major factors in such a close outcome.

The Cowboys led by as many as eight points in the first half and took a 36-32 advantage into the break. However, VT came out hot in the second and used an 8-0 run to claim the lead, locking down defensively in the process.

OSU didn't turn the ball over under pressure but the shooting percentages dropped considerably as the Cowboy offense looked out of sorts.

Robert Brown added 18 points and Jarell Eddie had 15 with 12 rebounds for the Hokies who achieved their first 7-0 start to a season since 1982-83.

Kamari Murphy and Markel Brown were the only other Cowboys in double figures with 13 and 11, respectively.

Michael Cobbins chipped in four points and two rebounds in limited action, playing just seven minutes in his first game back from a lingering injury suffered in the offseason.

With the loss, OSU fall to 5-1 on the season and will return to Stillwater for a six-game home stand. The first game is against South Florida on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

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