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Rapid reaction: Oklahoma State takes down West Virginia 80-66 in Stillwater

by Anthony Slater Published: January 26, 2013

By Anthony Slater – - @anthonyVslater

Oklahoma State sprinted past West Virginia 80-66 in Stillwater on Saturday afternoon. Here’s some rapid reaction:

Turning point

Trailing 24-11 midway through the first half, OSU looked sluggish and uninterested. The crowd was out of it and the team couldn’t buy a shot. But then Phil Forte drilled a three, Markel Brown got a steal and the energy was back in the building. Suddenly 24-11 became 24-20. And then 24-20 became 27-27. And by the end of the first half, sparked by a 19-6 run, the Cowboys had the lead. And they’d never relinquish it.

It was over when…

…Phil Forte and Markel Brown put a definitive stamp on their special game, splashing in back-to-back threes in the closing minutes to spike an already insurmountable Oklahoma State lead to 18. It allowed for a walk-on bench clearing and standing ovation as the duo went to the bench with game in hand.

Shooting star

With a hot hand off the bench, Phil Forte changed the game with his shooting. And that’s how it has been, good or bad, for the Cowboys. He’s a barometer for this team. In OSU’s three Big 12 wins (all at home), Forte is 11/23 from three, averaging 16.6 points. In the three losses (all on the road), Forte is 3/19 from deep, averaging just 8.0 points. When he’s on, the offense opens up for everybody. He was on Saturday (26 points on 7/12 shooting), so it did.

Star of the game – Markel Brown

Brown was awful at Baylor. Two points on 1/10 shooting. His worst game of the year. But with the consistency he has shown all season, you had to expect a bounce back. And he did in a big way. This game will be remembered for Forte’s shooting, but Brown was the consistent rock, on both ends, making the right plays at the right times. He finished with a season-high 24 points (on 8/13 shooting) and five assists.

Stats of note

-Phil Forte scored all 26 of OSU’s bench points, single-handedly outscoring West Virginia’s second unit by two.
-Le’Bryan Nash went without a field goal (0/4) for only the second time in 46 career games.
-Markel Brown hit four threes on Saturday, giving him a career-high 24 this season.
-Phil Forte’s 46 threes this season are good for second in the Big 12 (behind Iowa State’s Tyrus McGee).


The Flower Mound connection

Up next

Iowa State in Stillwater on Wednesday at 7 p.m. It’s an important one for both teams.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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