Nash's 29 leads No. 11 Oklahoma State past WVU

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 25, 2014 at 9:53 pm •  Published: January 25, 2014
Advertisement
;

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Marcus Smart had one of the worst games of his career, yet Oklahoma State still found a way to win.

Le'Bryan Nash scored a career-high 29 points and had nine rebounds to help the 11th-ranked Cowboys beat West Virginia 81-75 on Saturday.

Smart, a sophomore guard who entered the game as the Big 12's leading scorer, finished with a season-low four points on 1-for-7 shooting and played just 25 minutes before fouling out. West Virginia's game plan was to bring the contact to Smart.

"He likes to be physical, so you have to be physical back," West Virginia guard Juwan Staten said. "Try to get in his head a little bit, try to get him to commit some fouls he doesn't want to commit, try to get him in foul trouble. That's what we did."

Smart was visibly upset throughout the game and spent much of his playing time picking himself up off the ground.

"I think he did get a little frustrated, and I'm anxious to see if it was justified," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said.

Nash, a 6-foot-7 wing, picked up the slack. He was 10 of 13 from the field for the Cowboys (16-3, 4-2 Big 12), who swept the season series with the Mountaineers.

"It's just my teammates getting me shots in the right place," he said. "I'm right under the basket, and when they dump it off, I'm going up strong. That's what it is."

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said Nash's outburst was no surprise.

"I saw him in high school, and I knew how good he was," Huggins said. "He's been terrific all year. I think he's probably the hardest guard in our league. He can bounce it. If you let him catch it inside of 15 feet, he's got a great chance to score."

Markel Brown had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Phil Forte added 13 points for Oklahoma State, which now can focus on a showdown at No. 25 Oklahoma on Monday.

"It's Bedlam," Nash said. "It don't get no better than this. It's two good teams. We're going into their house. We really want to win. We've got to give it to Oklahoma, they've got some good wins, and it's going to be tough."

Eron Harris scored 21 points and Staten added 19 for the Mountaineers (11-9, 3-4), who have lost four of five.

There were 56 fouls, 66 free throws and six players fouled out. Oklahoma State made just 4 of 24 3-point attempts and was outrebounded 41-35, but held the Mountaineers to 37 percent shooting.

Smart scored his first points on two free throws with 10:42 left in the first half.