OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Marcus Smart will likely have more opportunities to play on an NBA court.
But the All-America guard — and potential lottery pick — decided not to force any shots and get his teammates more involved Saturday at Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Big 12 Conference's leading scorer took a backseat as Le'Bryan Nash scored 22 points and No. 7 Oklahoma State overcame a sluggish start to pull away for a 70-55 victory over Louisiana Tech.
Nash admitted that it was his day to lead the Cowboys (9-1), who hadn't played a game in more than a week. And with so many scoring options to defend, there was little Louisiana Tech (8-3) could do after cutting Oklahoma State's lead to 49-42 with 8:44 remaining.
"I wish I could have finished more shots," Nash said. "I probably would have had a career high or something."
With Louisiana Tech determined to slow down Smart, Nash grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and scored 15 of Oklahoma State's 31 points in the first half. Nash made six of his first 11 shots to pick up the slack for Smart, who finished with 13 points.
Smart was only 1-of-4 shooting in the first half, and he said he made a conscious effort to be more of an all-around player who created shots for his teammates. He added five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Markel Brown had 13 points and Kamari Murphy added 10 for the Cowboys.
"I'm just trying to focus on making sure that I don't force a lot of things because I do have a talented group of guys around me that I really don't need to force things," Smart said. "They can create also, so I just kind of let them get in the flow of their game."
Chris Anderson scored 14 points and Alex Hamilton added 12 points for Louisiana Tech, which held Oklahoma State scoreless over the first 4 minutes of the game. But the Bulldogs couldn't maintain the energy down the stretch.
The Cowboys used their athleticism and multiple scoring options to turn a close game into a lopsided victory in the All-College Classic.