By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Oklahoma State beat South Florida 61-49 on Wednesday night, improving the Cowboys record to 6-1. Here’s some rapid reaction:
Early in the second half, the game was in a lull. OSU led by three but there was little energy in the building, with both offenses firing up bricks. But Markel Brown drilled a three and Phil Jurick put in a free throw to generate some noise, followed by a Phil Forte three and Michael Cobbins floater that capped an impressive 9-0 run. USF never got back within eight.
It was over when…
…Marcus Smart showcased his unique and expansive talents in a 12-second sequence. Sensing another rough offensive patch, Smart took over, drilling his second triple, stealing the ensuing inbound and firing a nice assist to Markel Brown. The OSU lead had quickly ballooned from nine to 14 and USF’s struggling offense had no chance of coming back.
Star of the game – Marcus Smart
Typical Marcus Smart. He’s relentless and talented in all areas, dominating each of the seven college games he’s played. Wednesday night, he about hit on all of his averages: 15 points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks. Unbelievable college line for most, par for the Smart course.
Phil Jurick played the best game of his college career. By far. The big man went for seven points (a ton for him), two blocks and a career-high 14 rebounds. And he was more impactful than that impressive stat line indicates, altering a number of other shots and providing an impressive defensive presence.
Le’Bryan Nash had six points, no rebounds and three fouls on Wednesday night, breaking a 15-game streak of double-digit scoring. He was off all night, showing little energy during 22 foul-plagued minutes. “Just one of those nights” -Ford said postgame.
Stat of the game
USF shot 17-50 (34 percent) on Wednesday night. That continues an impressive streak of OSU defense to start the year. Opponents are shooting 35 percent overall.
What it means?
This is another nice nonconference win come Selection Sunday. South Florida was 6-2 coming in and 22-14 in the Big East last year, making the Sweet Sixteen.
“Cut down on the tacos” – Phil Jurick, talking about what led to his 25-pound weight loss and improved game.
Play of the game
Minutes after the Smart spree put a cap on the game, Phil Jurick provided the icing. The big man threw down a ferocious (and surprising) putback slam, shocking a pumped up home crowd and finishing off an impressive home win. “I didn’t know he could jump that high” -Markel Brown said of Jurick postgame.
Here’s that Jurick slam.
And the Marcus Smart five-point sequence.
The Cowboys have a favorable five-game nonconference home stretch coming up, starting with Missouri State on Saturday at 3 p.m.