Smart focused on defending and facilitating against the Bulldogs, attempting just eight shots. He eventually finished with 13 points, five rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocked shots. Brown heated up after a 1-for-7 shooting performance in the first half, adding 13 points. Kamari Murphy scored 10 off the bench and Brian Williams added an efficient nine points.
Nash was the constant.
“We have a great group of guys that are very talented, so on any given night you never know,” Smart said. “All of us might be on, you might have two, you might have one. That's the thing about this team. You never know who's going to be on. You have to account for all of us.
“And it's not just dependent on one guy. That's what we have with this team.”
Brown and Smart combined to make just 2 of 11 shots in the first half, with Brown missing six, although he may have been more preoccupied clamping down on Bulldogs leading scorer Raheem Appleby.
The Tech guard entered averaging 16.8 points a game for a team that was scoring at an 86.2 clip. But Appleby finished with just nine, going 4 of 15 from the floor, with five turnovers.
“I thought we'd be more competitive, to be honest,” White said. “But we struggled so much from an offensive standpoint. Missed the few open looks that we had. Just couldn't get it going offensively against a terrific defensive team.”
OSU used a late first-half surge to lead 31-18 at intermission. Still, the Cowboys were sluggish offensively throughout, and led just 49-42 at the 8:44 mark, before closing it out.
With little drama about the MVP, Nash pulled his teammates in close to share in the moment.
“I think it's a team thing,” Nash said. “I don't really get caught up in the single awards. I think it's a team award. I asked my teammates to take the picture with me. I think it's a team game and when you win an MVP, your team wins the MVP.
“I'm happy for myself, but it's a team (award) to me.”