STILLWATER — Le'Bryan Nash got the message.
Not from all those nastygrams targeting him via Twitter following Saturday's loss at Kansas State, but an urging from Cowboys coach Travis Ford that he's needed on the offensive end.
From the outset against TCU on Wednesday night, Nash asserted himself, eventually finishing with 13 points and a solid performance in a 63-45 rout at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“It was a mindset,” Nash said. “I needed to attack the rim more. And I wasn't aggressive enough. My coaches made that specific in practice, saying, ‘The reason you're not scoring is because you're not aggressive.' So I tried to be more aggressive in this game. And it worked out for me.
“I owe coach a lot this week, because I had a rough week last week. I met with him, watched film a lot, watched what I did in Puerto Rico.”
At the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Nash went on the attack, scoring 17 in a win over Tennessee and a season-high 23 in the title game romp past then-No. 6 North Carolina State. And 24 of the points in those games came at the foul line, the product of repeated drives to the basket, leading Nash to pronounce that he wanted to lead the nation in free throw attempts.
Since then, however, Nash had attempted just 31 free throws in nine games combined.
“I think I settled for jump shots the past three games,” he said. “Now I'm attacking the rim. And when I go to the hole, get fouls, or finish.”
The Cowboys finished TCU early, snapping their first losing streak of the season at two games and improving to 11-3 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12.
Next up: Bedlam, Round 1, Saturday in Norman.
Marcus Smart and Markel Brown each added 14 points for OSU, which outrebounded the Horned Frogs 40-17 behind Philip Jurick's game-high 10 boards.
Against an injury-depleted TCU team that fell to 9-6 and 0-2, the Cowboys led 36-22 at the half and was never threatened over the final 20 minutes.
Nash scored six of OSU's first 10 points, playing with an aggression and intensity that sometimes slips with the sophomore. His first three shots: a 16-foot jumper, a driving layup and a dunk to finish off a fast break.
It was his first double-digit scoring performance since the Cowboys' win over Texas-Arlington on Dec. 19. Since then, he'd scored five against Tennessee Tech, nine against Gonzaga and six at K-State — on a combined 8-of-24 shooting from the floor.
“I liked the level of intensity, his gear he played in,” Ford said. “That was better. He scored the ball the way I'd like for him to score the ball better.
“I would have expected it. He's had two good back-to-back practices. He affected the game tonight, did some things to affect the game. Defensively, he did a pretty good job. He got six rebounds. He played better.”
And he stayed away from Twitter — with Ford hinting it might have been an order — after several fans took direct shots at him for a lackluster performance in Saturday's loss at K-State when the Cowboys desperately needed scoring help.
“I ain't tweeting nothing,” Nash said. “I wanted to say stuff. I'm not going to lie, I wanted to say stuff. Being a basketball player in college, you can't do that. You're can't put yourself in that.
“It hurt a lot. But I'll get over it, like I responded to this game. I'm just glad we're back on the track of winning.”