Brown added 17 points for the Cowboys, who also got 14 from Le'Bryan Nash. OSU outrebounded Texas 46-34, forced 15 turnovers and held the Longhorns to 1-of-18 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.
At all times, however, Smart was in focus.
The Cowboys took control in the first half, behind Smart. And they took off in the second half, again behind Smart.
“Coach (Travis Ford) told me, ‘Just do what we do and run our plays,'” Smart said. “The lane just opened up and I just took what the defense gave me, which was open shots. I wasn't really trying to force some of the things, like I did in the first half.
“Coming into the second half, I just had to slow down and take what the defense gave me.”
Smart finished 6-of-12 from the field with three 3-pointers, 8-of-10 from the line and totaled seven rebounds, five steals and three assists. He had eight points to key a 22-8 surge in the first half and all six as the Cowboys pushed their lead to a double-digit margin they wouldn't relinquish in the second half.
Just like old times in Austin?
Smart and Forte played five games as prep stars in the Erwin Center, losing in the semifinals as sophomores, before winning four straight in the title runs their junior and senior seasons.
“Me and Phil, that's all we could think about, making that walk down the tunnel to the locker room,” Smart said. “It was very emotional for us.”
And very beneficial for the Cowboys.
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