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Le'Bryan Nash scores 21 as Oklahoma State holds off Tulsa

OSU BASKETBALL — Le'Bryan Nash and Keiton Page combined for 11 of the Cowboys' final 16 points as the team rallied to beat Tulsa.
BY JOHN HELSLEY Staff Writer Published: November 30, 2011
STILLWATER – Earlier this week, Keiton Page had Le'Bryan Nash's back as the freshman battled recent perception and production woes, assuring all the worriers that Nash would be just fine.

Wednesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena, they had each other's back – and the rest of the Cowboys, too – lifting Oklahoma State past Tulsa, 59-56, before an estimated crowd of 6,500.

With the Cowboys reeling in the second half, Nash and Page combined for 11 of OSU's final 16 points, sparking a rally from a 47-41 deficit with 8:16 to play.

Nash, playing with a renewed energy following a rough trip to New York City and the NIT Season Tip-Off, finished with a career-high 21 points. Page added 15 and drilled a 3-pointer that pushed the Cowboys in front 54-53 with 2:23 remaining.

Nash, coming off a scoreless performance in a Friday loss to Virginia Tech, scored eight straight Cowboys points during a stretch leading into Page's key 3-pointer.

“LB was on his game tonight,” Page said. “But we all know on this basketball team that Le'Bryan has a lot more in him. Yeah, he did play a lot better than he did in New York. And we needed him to have that kind of game tonight.

“We know what kind of player he's going to be at mid-season. And once he gets to that point, he's going to be a scary guy. I'll be glad he's on my team.”

The Cowboys, improving to 4-2, were glad to have him Wednesday night, when he didn't start, but played 30 minutes.

And his effort, under question along with his body language during two games of struggle in New York, was better from the outset.

“You play as hard as you can,” Nash said. “That's what my coaches always told me. So I had that on my mind pre-game. I said, ‘If I go out there and play hard, then good things are going to happen for me and my team, not just me.'

“I'm a big contributor to this team, so I just gotta play hard with these guys.”

Meanwhile, the Cowboys might have to ride out the ups and downs of their true freshman.

“We caught him on the wrong night,” said Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik.

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