NORMAN — With 3:59 left to play Saturday, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart sat in the lane, having just been shouldered to the floor by Oklahoma's Amath M'Baye.
Official Andrew Walton, on the spot, offered a hand to help Smart up.
Smart defiantly waved away Walton, who along with his two other officiating pals, contributed to a disappointing Bedlam debut for the OSU freshman — and for the Cowboys — in a 77-68 loss at Lloyd Noble Center.
“I didn't want any part of that,” Smart said of his dismissal of Walton. “I was just really frustrated. I was just frustrated with everything. I felt like we didn't get some calls we probably should have gotten.
“But that's just the way it's going to go. You have to move on.”
Correct calls or not, Smart found himself in foul trouble throughout, limited to 27 minutes and leaving the Cowboys short-handed as well. OSU's most impactful player and the hub of their offense at the point guard spot, Smart wasn't sharp when he was on the floor, making just 3-of-10 shots from the floor and going 3-of-6 from the foul line for 10 points.
“I think Marcus was burdened by the fouls, which limited him a little bit,” said Sooner coach Lon Kruger.
Said Smart: “It's definitely frustrating, because there's no way you can get a feel for the game or a rhythm. When you get back in, everything's new to you.”
Markel Brown scored a game-high 19 points, while Phil Forte and Le'Bryan Nash added 12 each. But the Cowboys clearly missed Smart, who has played his best in OSU's biggest games, in a variety of ways.
“It takes toughness out of the game,” said Brown, who slid over to replace Smart for much of the time he was sitting. “It takes a hardworking player, a big-time rebounder, a big-time scorer out of the game.
“And it takes me out of position to help score. That was a big issue for us.”
It was hardly the only issue.
The Cowboys struggled from the outset, falling behind 7-0, 21-10 and 32-18 in the first half, before trimming the margin to nine, 38-29, at intermission.
“They were in a higher gear than we were,” said OSU forward Michael Cobbins.
The Cowboys surrendered 15 turnovers and shot just 39.3 percent overall for the game and missed all nine 3-point tries in the second half, while the Sooners were going 5-for-9 from the arc, firing in responses after OSU made a run to pull close at 52-50 with 9:34 to play.
OU's Steven Pledger drilled a 3, then made three free throws when he was fouled shooting a 3. Buddy Hield fired in a 3. Even M'Baye made a 3 — his first as a Sooner — all but stamping out the Cowboys' fire.
“We didn't expect them to make that many 3s,” Brown said. “We didn't expect certain players who made 3s to make them. They hurt us.”
Not having a full dose of Smart hurt, too.
“Mentally, psychologically, when he goes out, it puts a little pressure on everybody else,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford.
The pressure is back on the Pokes, who fell to 11-4 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12, losing another road game — three of their four losses have come away from home — and a ninth straight in the series in Norman.
“Unfortunately, some things just didn't go my way tonight,” Smart said. “Didn't go our way. Some games are just going to be like that.
“You just have to come back and work harder.”