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SPORTS: Oklahoma State University

No. 6 OSU Upset At Kansas State

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MANHATTAN, Kansas -

It's been a rough week for Oklahoma State and it didn't get any better on Saturday in Manhattan.

The short-handed sixth-ranked Cowboys were upset in their Big 12 Conference opener with a 74-71 loss against Kansas State.

The Pokes (12-2, 0-1) were already dealing with the loss of starting center Michael Cobbins to a season-ending Achilles injury before dynamic freshman guard Stevie Clark was suspended for a second time this season.

Suffice to say, Travis Ford's options were limited entering the game. Then the fouls began to mount and "The Octagon of Doom" lived up to its billing, as attrition, fatigue and a costly technical foul on Marcus Smart paved the way for the Cowboys' second loss of the season.

OSU appeared to be on its way to overcoming its disadvantages when a breakaway resulted in a powerful slam by Smart with a foul that seemed to be exactly what the Cowboys needed to swing momentum in their favor.

But Smart reacted emotionally to the dunk and made a poor decision that proved to be a costly one, slapping the backboard to add emphasis to his dunk. That move wasn't appreciated by the officiating crew, which wasted no time hitting the All-American guard with a technical foul.

Not only was the tech a momentum killer, it was also his fourth foul. With 13:07 remaining in the second half, Ford was forced to leave his best player on the bench for a hefty portion of the half. As a result, it was also a crippling blow to an already-thin lineup.

With Smart on the bench, OSU would score just one basket in the next seven minutes, allowing a feisty K-State squad to hang around and gain confidence.

Eventually, the Wildcats (11-3) claimed the lead on a pair of free throws by Shane Southwell with 4:50 remaining, a part of a 7-0 run that gave KSU a five-point advantage in the waning minutes.

Le'Bryan Nash played an outstanding game and was able to keep the Cowboys within striking distance but the Wildcats were able to keep OSU at arm's length by converting 5-of-6 free throws in the final 25 seconds to secure the win.

Nash led OSU with 20 points and six rebounds on 7-of-14 shooting. Markel Brown struggled from the floor on 2-of-8 shooting but made the most of his time at the foul line, going 12-of-14 from the stripe to finish with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Smart scored 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting and missed a potential game-tying desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.

KSU freshman guard Marcus Foster led the Wildcats with 17 points and Nino Williams added 15 off the bench.

Oklahoma State will open the home portion of its conference slate on Wednesday when Texas comes to Gallagher-Iba Arena for an 8 p.m. contest.

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