STILLWATER — Oklahoma State’s game against TCU on Wednesday night wasn’t so much anticipated for the matchup, as it was as the checkpoint in advancing the calendar.
And once the No. 9-ranked Cowboys finished off an 82-50 rout of the Horned Frogs, the focus fast-forwarded to what’s next: a Saturday showdown at No. 15 Kansas, in Allen Fieldhouse, where OSU flipped its season a year ago with a stunning upset of the No. 2 Jayhawks.
“It’s going to be exciting,” said Le’Bryan Nash, one of four Cowboys in double figures scoring against TCU. “Knowing we’re coming off a win from last year, they’re going to have their crowd rocking. And we’ll come in there with the same attitude we had last year.
“It’s going to be a good game and atmosphere. They’re coming off a good win at Iowa State, so I know they’re pumped.”
Before all that, the Cowboys had to take care of TCU, yet to record a road win as a member of the Big 12 and winless in the conference to start this season. And OSU went about it immediately, building a big early lead on the way to a 39-25 halftime edge that only expanded over the final 20 minutes.
“They are a good team,” said Horned Frogs freshman guard Michael Williams. “They are up there with the best.”
OSU improved to 15-2 overall and 3-1 in the Big 12.
The Horned Frogs fell to 9-7 and 0-4.
“We did what we were supposed to do,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford. “There’s some positive things that came out of it. There’s a lot of things we better do a lot better, quickly, before Saturday, but it was all positive tonight, more or less.”
Marcus Smart continued his torrid stretch of play, scoring 20 points and adding eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. Markel Brown added 14 points, Nash 13 and Brian Williams 10 for the Cowboys.
Smart’s first three shots were 3-pointers — all good. They were part of a first half for the Cowboys that featured seven 3s.
“That was great, making shots early in the game,” said Brown, who finished 5-of-9 from the floor with two 3s. “For the most part, everybody had a good percentage for this game. It’s going to be huge going into the next game. It’s good like that when you come off a good shooting night for the next game.”
Especially a next game like this, pairing the preseason co-favorites in the Big 12.
“We’re ready. This is a statement game,” Nash said. “This is about who can be the best team in the Big 12. This is one of the key matchups in the Big 12. It’s going to be a highlight game and hopefully this team is ready for the war we’re going into.”