OSU caught playing catch-up in Bedlam loss
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Sunday, January 13, 2013
1/13/13 at 6:43 AM
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NORMAN - Less than two minutes into Saturday's Bedlam game, Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart motioned in the air, trying to get his teammates to settle down.
It didn't work.
An early 7-0 hole left the Cowboys playing frenzied catch-up for the duration of the contest, and they never were able to close the gap, dropping a ninth-straight meeting at Lloyd Noble Center.
"(OU) came out and set the tone for the game," OSU guard Markel Brown said. "We didn't respond. They came out, put pressure on us, played way harder than us and it affected the game."
The 77-68 loss was the third in four games for the Cowboys (11-4, 1-2 Big 12).
"In the Gonzaga game, we got stops; the ball just didn't bounce our way," coach Travis Ford said. "Against Kansas State, it didn't bounce our way. And (OU) made big shots today.
"We've got to get over that. We've got to make enough plays before we get to the two-minute mark to put ourselves in position where we're not having to fight back all the time."
The OSU offense was out of sorts from the start and then was forced to cope without star Smart for long stretches. He picked up his third foul with 4:35 until halftime and his fourth with 11:50 left.
"It takes toughness off the game (when Smart is on the bench)," Brown said. "It takes a hard-working player, a big-time rebounder, a big-time scorer out of the game.
"It takes me out of position to help score for the team, also."
With Smart limited, his high school teammate Phil Forte gave the Cowboys a first-half boost and led the team with 10 points at the break, when they trailed 39-29.
After halftime, OSU made some adjustments and came back to life with a series of plays from Philip Jurick, who had four points and four rebounds in a span of about two minutes.
With a full-court press frustrating the Sooners, the deficit was trimmed to 52-50 with 9:34 remaining on a pair of free throws from Le'Bryan Nash.
"Our defense got us back in the game," Ford said. "We started being aggressive. We were playing defense like we normally do."
But for a period of 12 minutes, the Cowboys hit only one field goal. They missed all nine of their 3-point attempts in the second half, when OU hit five.
"We fought back, but when we fought back, (OU) made some shots," Ford said. "I thought they played really well as far as guys making shots and making big plays."
"... You just can't come into a game expecting that a scouting report is going to do it for you. You've got to compete. You've got to compete from the time that ball is thrown up."
Original Print Headline: OSU caught playing catch-up
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Oklahoma State guard Le'Bryan Nash dunks over Oklahoma forward Amath M'Baye during Saturday's game in Norman. Nash finished with 12 points for the Cowboys. SUE OGROCKI/ Associated Press