“Those guys are physical,” Smart said. “We wanted to come out and match their intensity. At the hotel, they were jawing at us, a little noise, trying to intimidate us. We have some great and talented players on this team, so we didn't let that get to us.
“We came out to match their intensity. And we did it. I don't think they were expecting us to come out the way we did. And we came out with the victory.”
OSU built a 30-19 halftime lead and regularly stretched the lead to 19 in the second half, ultimately owning a largest lead of 20. They did that despite playing without injured forward Jéan-Paul Olukemi and with starting post players Philip Jurick and Kamari Murphy each strapped with foul trouble in the second half. Reserve big man Marek Soucek went out with a knee injury late.
Defensively, the Cowboys incorporated some zone and went with a small lineup that featured Nash down low.
“We just had to figure things out the last seven, eight minutes of the game,” Ford said. “But I thought our kids did a great job of adjusting and I'm just very proud of them.”