By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma 84-79 in overtime on Saturday in Stillwater. Here’s some rapid reaction:
Le’Bryan Nash (yes, the oft-critizised Le’Bryan Nash) took over in the game’s crucial moments, scoring 23 of his 26 points after halftime and seven points in the final 2:21. That included a pair of baseline dunks sandwiched between a strong and-1 move. It kept OSU afloat after a rough start in overtime and paved the way for Marcus Smart’s big finish.
It was over when…
…Marcus Smart swallowed Steven Pledger’s potential game-tying three attempt, stoning the shot in his hands and forcing a jumpball (OSU possession) with 19 seconds left. Then, moments later, he clinched the game with two big free throws, putting a clutch cap on his career-high 28 points.
Star of the game – Marcus Smart
More than just another ridiculous line (28 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block), Smart altered every part of the game with his uncanny leadership and basketball IQ. He willed OSU to a win with hustle plays and clutch buckets. The clear favorite for Big 12 Player of the Year was special again.
Unsung hero – Sam Grooms
Wait, what? Where did he come from? Sam Grooms was scoreless in his past two games and had scored a combined 11 points in the past six. So of course, the senior went for a career-high 18 points, tying for the team-lead and more than doubling his previous season-high of seven. Grooms single-handedly outscored the OSU bench by six. He was expected to get a little more burn with Buddy Heild out, but nobody could have expected this. If OU can get a sliver of this effort moving forward, it’ll be a huge bonus.