MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OSU

March 3, 2014

Cowboys make it four straight in the victory column

STILLWATER — Phil Forte matched a season high with 23 points to help Oklahoma State defeat Kansas State 77-61 on Monday night.

Marcus Smart scored 18 points and Markel Brown added 15 for the Cowboys (20-10, 8-9 Big 12), who followed their victory over Kansas by winning their fourth straight. Brown, a senior, and Smart, a sophomore, played their final home games for the Cowboys. Smart will declare early for the NBA Draft.

Oklahoma State is unbeaten since Smart returned from a three-game suspension for shoving a Texas Tech fan. Smart was strong in the second half for the third straight game, scoring 16 points after halftime before checking out with 1:32 remaining.

Thomas Gipson had 10 points and 13 rebounds and Wesley Iwundu added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Kansas State (20-10, 10-7), which had won three of four and was coming off a home win over Iowa State.

Again, Smart got off to a slow start. His first basket came with just under eight minutes left in the first half.

Oklahoma State rallied from a 22-15 deficit to take a 23-22 lead. A dunk by Le’Bryan Nash and a layup by Brown gave the Cowboys a 27-23 lead.

Oklahoma State led 35-27 at halftime after holding Kansas State to two field goals in the final 10 minutes of the half. Brown scored 12 points before the break. The Cowboys outscored the Wildcats 15-3 from the free-throw line in the first 20 minutes.

Kansas State opened the second half on a 5-0 run to cut the Cowboys’ lead to 35-32, but back-to-back steals and layups by Smart and Forte pushed Oklahoma State’s lead to eight.

Smart found Brian Williams for a dunk, then Forte for a 3-pointer to increase the Cowboys’ advantage to 50-39 with just under 12 minutes remaining. Smart’s 3-pointer with about eight minutes remaining gave Oklahoma State a 57-46 edge.

Smart committed his fourth foul with 5:38 remaining, but the Cowboys went on a 7-1 run after he went to the bench to put the game out of reach.

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