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Oklahoma State Charges Past Mountaineers

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MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -

One of the biggest concerns for Oklahoma State on Saturday was to avoid a letdown game as a result of a deflating double-overtime loss to Kansas on Wednesday.

And the prospects of that unfolding looked ominous after Marcus Smart picked up his third foul just two-and-a-half minutes into the first half and West Virginia raced to out to an early 12-5 lead on the Pokes.

But the Cowboys did what they have all season and responded, eventually overpowering the Mountaineers for a 73-57 victory, marking OSU's fourth consecutive road win.

The Cowboys had their backs up against the wall after Smart's third foul but Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash helped spark a 19-4 run that not only gave Oklahoma State the lead, it completely deflated the WVU crowd. OSU led 35-33 at the half after the Mountaineers hit a buzzer beater.

And once Smart re-entered the lineup, this game was as good as over.

Smart's first-half line: zero points, zero rebounds, zero assists and three fouls.

Smart's second-half line: 14 points, four assists, two rebounds and three steals.

The result was OSU outscored the Mountaineers by 14 in the second half to coast to its 20th victory of the season and the 100th win for Travis Ford with the Cowboys.

Brown and Nash led OSU with 16 points each. Brown shot 5-of-11 from the floor, highlighted by a reverse double-pump slam to give the Cowboys their first double-digit lead of the day in the second half. He also added five rebounds and three assists.

Nash shot 7-of-12 and pulled down three rebounds.

Brian Williams had his best game of the season since returning from injury with 13 points in 5-of-8 shooting, including 2-for-2 from 3. Williams also showcased how valuable his defense is to this team, completely taking out whoever he was on the entire game.

Michael Cobbins was the fifth and final Cowboy in double figures with 10 points. Cobbins had his first career double-double earlier this season against the Mountaineers in Stillwater and he nearly did it again on Saturday with nine rebounds. He also had four blocks.

Oklahoma State's defense was stifling throughout the contest, limiting WVU to just 30.2 percent from the field and 4-of-21 (19 percent) from 3-point range. West Virginia only had one more field goal (16) than it did turnovers (15) in the game.

WVU only had two players reach double-digit scoring and both came off the bench. Aaric Murray led the Mountaineers with 11 and Matt Humphrey scored 10.

OSU improved to 20-6 with the victory and 10-4 in Big 12 play, while West Virginia fell to 13-14 and 6-8 in its inaugural Big 12 season.

The Cowboys stay on the road where they will take on last place TCU on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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