By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Oklahoma State rolled to an easy conference win on Saturday afternoon, beating Texas Tech 79-45 in Stillwater. Here’s some rapid reaction:
With Marcus Smart on the bench (again) with foul trouble early in the first half, Tech had dwindled down a double-digit Oklahoma State lead to three. And it looked like a competitive game was possible. But the Cowboys, riding the hot hand of Markel Brown, closed the half on a 13-4 run, creating enough separation for a second half cruise.
It was over when…
…The Cowboys came out with a bit more energy and a lot more rhythm in the second half. Texas Tech, a floundering program still reeling from the Billy Gillispie saga, never really had a chance. And that was clear in the final 20 minutes. Dunks, threes and a whole lot of Red Raider bricks led to a blowout walk-on fest in the final five minutes.
Star of the game – Markel Brown
Want a stat to fully exhibit Markel Brown’s continued growth: Saturday’s 21-point performance was Brown’s 12th consecutive game in double-digits. Last season, when he was the Cowboys third leading scorer, Brown never had double-digits in more than two straight games. His midrange game his become lethal, his deep shot improving, his defense always there and his dunks an attraction. An underrated pro prospect who continues to impress.
Stats of note
-In the first half, OSU sixth man Phil Forte had as many points as Texas Tech’s entire starting lineup. Eleven.
-Forte is now second in the Big 12 with 40 threes this season. He only trails Iowa State’s Tyrus McGee.
-The Cowboys are now 27-8 in Big 12 home games during the Travis Ford era.
Marcus Smart was muddled in foul trouble for the second straight game, limited to 21 out-of-rhythm minutes off the bench and only three points (season-lows for both). Moving fine, he’ll be fine if he stays out of foul trouble. But that’s proven to be a big if.
What it means
An expected but needed win for the Cowboys. After losing two of their first three Big 12 games, this was billed as a get well game. And it ended up being just that. Now on to the meatier part of the conference schedule, including two games against Baylor and one at Kansas in the next three weeks.
Add it to the list
Big Monday provides a big opportunity for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys head down to Waco to play the talented but enigmatic Baylor Bears with a chance to reinsert themselves into the conference discussion (and win a Big 12 road game for just the second time in three years). Game is at 4:30 on ESPN.