Nash helps OSU bounce TCU
BY Kelly Hines World Sports Writer
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
STILLWATER — A slightly more aggressive Le’Bryan Nash showed up Wednesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
During Oklahoma State’s 63-45 victory against TCU, Nash’s stat line of 13 points and six rebounds wasn’t staggering, but he seemed to have taken his intensity to a higher level.
“I liked the gear he played in,” coach Travis Ford said. “I thought it was better. ... He did some things to affect the game.”
That alone was an improvement for Nash, who was a non-factor in last week’s losses to Gonzaga and Kansas State. After those games, he was torched on Twitter by several OSU fans who labeled him as a waste of talent.
“It hurt a lot, but I’ll get over it,” Nash said of the criticism. “… I blame myself for the three losses because I wasn’t in a groove like I was in Puerto Rico.
“I just tried to do better and help this team out as much as I can.”
Nash said staying off Twitter has helped his mindset, as did a heart-to-heart with his coaches.
“They (said), ‘The reason you’re not scoring is because you’re not aggressive,’” Nash said. “I tried to be aggressive more in this game, and it worked out for me.”
On OSU’s first possession, Nash knocked down a jumper. Less than two minutes later, he scored on a putback. He had nine first-half points, matching the most he scored in each of the previous three games.
Behind 61.9 percent shooting, the Cowboys (11-3, 1-1 Big 12) led 14-6 early and permanently pushed the lead to double digits with six minutes until halftime.
“The first half we shot the ball well but didn’t reward ourselves because we turned the ball over too much,” Ford said. “I thought we should have expanded the lead a little more if we’d taken care of the basketball.”
The sloppy plays continued in the second half, when OSU had 13 of its season-high 24 turnovers.
“We were forcing plays at times,” Ford said.
“Twenty-four is obviously an extreme.
“We’ve been leading the league in turnover margin. I’m sure that will change after tonight very quickly.”
Despite the turnovers, the deficit for the Horned Frogs (9-6, 0-2) was never fewer than 14 points in the second half.
“This is a basketball team that had a little chip and they were ready to play like they always are,” first-year TCU coach Trent Johnson said. “They’re very balanced and they play truly hard and they have a nastiness to them that I really like.”
A big boost for the Cowboys was their improved rebounding, where they had a 40-17 advantage. Center Philip Jurick had 10 rebounds and used a height advantage to pose significant problems for TCU’s inside game.
“I love Jurick,” Johnson said. “He’s got a lot of edge to him. He’s going to be key to them going a long way if he can control his temper.”
Marcus Smart and Markel Brown quietly led OSU in scoring, each with 14 points.
TCU was led by Garlon Green, who had 20 points. Kyan Anderson added 10.
Oklahoma State center Philip Jurick jumps towards TCU forward Adrick McKinney to block his shot in the Cowboys' 63-45 victory over TCU on Wednesday at Gallagher Iba Arena in Stillwater. KT King/For the Tulsa World