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02/23/2013 6:06 PM EST
No. 14 Oklahoma State beats West Virginia 73-57
OKLAHOMA ST 73, WEST VIRGINIA 57
By JOHN RABY
AP Sports Writer
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- With the shot clock running down,
Oklahoma State's Le'Bryan Nash badly missed a desperation
3-pointer in front of West Virginia's student section, only to
have teammate Brian Williams there all alone under the basket to
tip in the errant shot.
It seemed like No. 14 Oklahoma State had an answer to every
challenge Saturday. The Cowboys overcame a terrible start and
Marcus Smart's early foul trouble with a strong second half to
beat the cold-shooting Mountaineers 73-57.
"It wasn't the prettiest of games," Oklahoma State coach Travis
What was beautiful from the Cowboys' perspective was teammates
helping out teammates three days after a double-overtime loss to
No. 9 Kansas.
"It was good to bounce back after the Kansas game," Williams
said. "We didn't want to lose three or four straight before we
got it back rolling. We let the last game go and tried to come
out here and get the victory."
Nash and Markel Brown scored 16 points apiece, Smart scored all
14 of his points in the second half, Williams added a
career-high 13 points and Michael Cobbins scored 10 for Oklahoma
State (20-6, 10-4).
Williams doubled his previous career high for points and made
both 3-point tries after entering the game 1 of 6 from beyond
"I thought Brian Williams played the best that he's played all
year," Ford said. "He's starting to get back in form. The
strength of our team is who are you going to stop? It's pretty
tough to focus on one or two guys on our team. We have some
versatility. I liked the way the shots were distributed among
Oklahoma State shot 52 percent (14 of 27) after halftime and
forced 11 second-half turnovers to give Ford his 100th win with
West Virginia (13-14, 6-8) trailed by 2 points at halftime but
couldn't keep up the momentum, falling apart with lapses on both
ends of the floor. The Mountaineers succumbed to Oklahoma
State's full-court press and shot 30 percent (16 of 53) for the
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins used Nash's off-balanced shot
midway through the second half as an example of how things have
gone wrong for his struggling team.
"Shot clock is running down, they are falling out of bounds and
they heave one up," Huggins said. "You would think we would
block out. They catch it and lay it in, and we are standing
there watching it. That is not playing.
"The truth is, we got beat to loose balls. We got beat to balls
going out of bounds, and we have gotten beat to everything. We
have a whole bunch of guys standing around and watching."
Aaric Murray led West Virginia with 11 points and Matt Humphrey
Smart, who was limited to 3 minutes of first-half floor time,
played all 20 minutes after halftime. He made a pair of steals
in a 14-second span that turned into easy baskets, part of a
13-2 run that put the Cowboys ahead 58-43 with 9:29 remaining.
At halftime, "we wanted to see if we could pressure the ball
more," Cobbins said. "And, of course, we had Marcus Smart in
there to add more pressure to our defense."
Needing baskets as Oklahoma State pulled away, West Virginia
instead went nearly 7 minutes between field goals and lost for
the third time in four games.
The Mountaineers didn't have to worry much about Oklahoma State
freshman Phil Forte, who torched West Virginia for a career-high
26 points in the Cowboys' blowout win in their previous meeting
in Stillwater, Okla. Forte finished with 2 points.
Oklahoma State committed six turnovers in the game's first four
minutes with Smart already on the bench with three fouls. West
Virginia used those turnovers to take a 12-5 lead, but it didn't
"We couldn't get anything going in the first three or four
minutes of the game," Ford said. "We had silly fouls here and
there. In some strange way, it might have motivated our guys."
The Cowboys managed just four field goals over the first 12
minutes, then got six of them in a 2:09 span. Nash scored six
points during the 13-4 run that put Oklahoma State ahead 27-19
with 5 minutes remaining in the half.
Given wide-open chances, the Mountaineers couldn't hit many
jumpers, but Murray scored West Virginia's final six points of
the half, including a dunk off a rebound at the buzzer to cut
the deficit to 35-33.
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