MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Adversity seemed to be stacking up on Oklahoma State.
These Cowboys, however, keep revealing character, the latest example coming in a 73-57 romp Saturday at West Virginia.
No. 14 Oklahoma State already faced issues: on the road at West Virginia following an emotional and physical double-overtime loss to Kansas three days earlier. Then it lost point guard and spiritual leader Marcus Smart to three fouls less than three minutes in.
But reinforcements were ready, Smart eventually returned to do his thing and the Cowboys improved to 20-6 overall and 10-4 in the Big 12 to keep their conference title hopes alive.
West Virginia fell to 13-14 and 6-8.
Five Oklahoma State players scored in double figures, led by Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash at 16 each, Smart at 14, Brian Williams at 13 and Michael Cobbins at 10.
Aaric Murray (11 points) and Matt Humphrey (10) led the Mountaineers off the bench.
Oklahoma State was ahead just 35-33 at halftime, but Smart's return sparked the Cowboys to a comfortable win.
Scoreless at intermission, after missing all but 2:23 of play, Smart came back to go 4-of-8 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the line and add four assists, three steals and two rebounds.
The Cowboys gradually built their lead and eventually led by 18, benefitting from 52 percent shooting from the floor in the second half.
Missing their floor general and a major offensive contributor, the Cowboys looked elsewhere to fill in the gap, and they got it from several spots.
Nash had a game-high 10 points at intermission, while Brown added nine and Williams eight. Cobbins might have been the biggest factor, contributing on both ends of the floor with six points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
Initially, the Mountaineers made the most of Smart's absence, leading 7-2 and 12-5. Kevin Noreen and Murray each scored seven points in the opening 20 minutes to lead WVU.
The Cowboys rallied, owning as much as a seven-point advantage at 29-22, before West Virginia closed strong. A follow dunk from Murray at the buzzer made it a two-point game.
NOTES: Seven times this season Oklahoma State has played following a game Wednesday against an opponent who played Monday. This time, the Cowboys played on the road, on the heels of a combined three overtime periods over eight days. ... Travis Ford won his 100th game as Cowboys coach, moving to 100-61. Ford is 223-176 overall as a head coach. ... West Virginia had been 128-32 against teams making their first trip to WVU Coliseum before Saturday. ... Oklahoma State won its fourth straight conference road game, the program's best road streak since 2004.