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Oklahoma State basketball: Cowboys' character comes through in win over West Virginia

After Marcus Smart picked up three fouls, the Cowboys absorbed that initial shock, then recovered to carry a lead to halftime. Then they ran away in the second half, with Smart back doing his thing, and OSU pulling through.
by John Helsley Published: February 24, 2013

/articleid/3758791/1/pictures/1962543">Photo - Oklahoma State's Le'Bryan Nash (2) is fouled by West Virginia's Gary Browne (14) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/David Smith) ORG XMIT: WVDS107
Oklahoma State's Le'Bryan Nash (2) is fouled by West Virginia's Gary Browne (14) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/David Smith) ORG XMIT: WVDS107

“I thought we had some pretty good energy over there, once the first eight minutes passed.”

Even before tip, the game shaped up as a tricky proposition for the Cowboys.

They were coming off that loss to the Jayhawks, ending a seven-game winning streak. And they were tired, to the point that Ford — in a very un-Ford-like move — barely worked them Thursday or Friday, relying heavily instead on video preparation.

It sniffed a bit like the follow-up to the Bedlam football game, when the Cowboys scuffled through a loss at Baylor their next time out.

Except these Cowboys would have none of that, instead creating a scent of satisfaction with a gritty businesslike performance.

“It was definitely a great satisfying victory,” Smart said. “We had a tough loss to KU in double-overtime, a very emotional game.

“I'm pretty sure a lot of people thought we were going to do what Kansas did when we beat them — they went into a slump. Because games like that, hard-fought games, those are definitely heartbreakers. You can lose focus.”

Instead, the Cowboys gain points for toughness, which is always a coveted asset with March creeping closer and closer.

And they stay alive in the chase for conference crown, still needing help, yet still in valid pursuit.

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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