AUSTIN, Texas -- Road woe has turned to road "mo" for Oklahoma State. For the first time in three-plus years, the No. 22-ranked Cowboys own road momentum in the Big 12 Conference, after rolling past Texas, 72-59, on Saturday at the Erwin Center. It was Oklahoma State's second consecutive league road victory, following last Saturday's breakthrough at Kansas. While it's a modest as a two-game winning streak, it's major when considering the Cowboys had managed only one Big 12 road victory in three years before their conquest of Kansas, a span of 22 games. Also major is that Oklahoma State owns a five-game winning streak and is 17-5, including 7-3 in the Big 12. Texas, which had beaten the Cowboys eight consecutive times at home, fell to 10-13, 2-8 in the league. The Longhorns have never finished with a losing record in conference play under coach Rick Barnes, but find themselves facing a steep uphill climb toward .500. Oklahoma State led, 36-30, less than six minutes into the second half, when it went on a 14-6 run to gain control. Marcus Smart, who finished with a game-high 23 points, sparked the surge with six points, including a 3-pointer to put the Cowboys ahead, 41-30. Smart also added seven rebounds and three assists, while Markel Brown had 17 points and Le'Bryan Nash added 14 for Oklahoma State. Ioannis Papapetrou led the Longhorns with 15 points and seven rebounds, and Demarcus Holland scored 13 points off the bench. Texas actually out-shot the Cowboys from the floor, 39 percent to 37.5. But Oklahoma State won the rebounding battle, 46-34, and forced nine second-half turnovers. The Cowboys led, 29-22, at the half, despite a sloppy 20 minutes that included 11 turnovers and 32.3 percent shooting. Smart accounted for 11 of Oklahoma State's first-half points, but also five of the team's turnovers. Nash added seven points and six rebounds, leading a Cowboys' assault on the boards, 29-17. Texas, which had an early 7-4 lead, was led by Holland's seven points off the bench in the first half. Longhorns starters provided only 13 of their team's first-half points. The Cowboys used a 14-4 run midway through the first half to surge ahead, with Smart and Nash combining for 10 points. Oklahoma State built its biggest lead of the half at 26-17. NOTES: Texas point guard Myck Kabongo, a preseason All-Big 12 pick and the team's offensive catalyst, sat out the final game of his NCAA-imposed, 23-game suspension. He will be eligible to return for Wednesday's home game against Iowa State. ... While it was a road game for Marcus Smart and Phil Forte, they had enjoyed plenty of success in the Erwin Center. High school teammates at Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas, they led their team to back-to-back state championships in the building. ... The Longhorns might have landed Smart and Forte, but declined to offer the latter a scholarship. And the longtime teammates, dating to third grade, instead went to Stillwater together.
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