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No. 15 Oklahoma State finds litte trouble from TCU

The SportsXchange

FORT WORTH -- Oklahoma State had been constantly reminded of that one TCU lightning strike of the season, a stunning upset of Kansas back on Feb. 6.

"Every second," said the Cowboys' Le'Bryan Nash.

The No. 15-ranked Cowboys either paid heed or simply focused on the deed.

Or both.

Whatever the method, they found little resistance in rolling on the road, 64-47, at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Oklahoma State (21-6 overall, 11-4 Big 12) used a late first-half run to build a 38-24 halftime lead, then finished the job, at one point owning a 20-point lead on the way to the rout.

Nash was particularly focused, pouring in a career-high 28 points for the Cowboys, who swept the season series with TCU. He made 12 of 16 shots from the floor, often making it look easy by having his way in the lane.

"We knew they weren't great shot blockers, so we took advantage of that, especially me," Nash said. "I tried to penetrate the lane and get to the bucket all the time. That's the biggest thing about my game, getting to the hole. That's what I try to do a lot. And it worked out for me this game."

Said TCU coach Trent Johnson: "Well, he's bigger. He's stronger. He's quicker. And he's got more of a skill set than anybody we have.

"And they do a good job of putting him in spots where he can score."

TCU (10-18, 1-14) and its one night mastery of Kansas looks more and more unexplainable as time passes. Since then, the Horned Frogs have lost six straight games, all but one by double digits, and three at home.

Still, Cowboys coach Travis Ford did his best to pound home the point not to let lightning strike twice.

"Coach Ford was always talking about it," Nash said, " 'If it can happen to Kansas, it can happen to us.'

"We respect TCU a lot. We respect what they did against Kansas. We just put our heads together and came out with a win."

Even afterward, Ford was still pressing the point.

"It's an easy one to use, obviously," Ford said. "But it's the truth. Yeah, we reminded them a lot of, ‘If you're not ready to play and focused and locked in, anybody can win.' Penn State I think beat Michigan tonight.

"Anything can happen. I'm worried about every game, but these games can jump up and bite you. They're all difficult. But I told them I'm glad we won."

Kyan Anderson led TCU with 15 points while Devonte Abron added 12 off the bench. But the Horned Frogs were doomed by poor shooting, making just 15-of-55 shots from the floor - 27.3 percent.

"We couldn't put the ball in the hole," Anderson said. "Couldn't score and I didn't feel like we played well on defense."

The Horned Frogs were hanging close at 26-23 in the first half, when Oklahoma State used a 12-1 surge into intermission to open a 38-24 lead at the break.

During a middle stretch of the game that spanned 10:53, more than five minutes of each half, the Cowboys outscored TCU 18-1, putting to rest any remaining doubt about the outcome.

"We came out with a lot of intensity, everyone in the locker room seemed to be ready," Anderson said, "but defensively, offensively, we couldn't get it done.

"We've got to get back to practice and work on the things we're struggling at right now."

Nash carried the scoring for the Cowboys, who used 11 players, nine of whom scored. Marcus Smart added nine points, five assists and three steals, while Markel Brown added seven points.

Oklahoma State shot 55.1 percent from the floor, making 27-of-49 attempts, with Nash playing a major role.

"I think it started off with defense," Nash said. "I make a big emphasis on defense, playing on defense. I'm just thankful my teammates are team players. They saw I was going, so they kept giving me the ball.

"When you've got guys like that, that's a winning attitude. They'll do anything to win."

NOTES: The game served as a homecoming for three Cowboys: Nash, Smart and Forte. Smart and Forte played together at Flower Mound Marcus High School, a north suburb of Dallas. Nash played at Lincoln High School in south Dallas. The homecoming wasn't only a talking point; at least half the crowd at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum wore orange. ... Anderson's 15 points gave him six straight in double figures for TCU, the longest stretch of his career. ... Oklahoma State is the only team in the Big 12 with three players in the top 15 in scoring -- Markel Brown, Smart and Nash -- and Forte gives the Cowboys four in the top 20.

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