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February 9, 2013

Pokes roll through the Longhorns in Austin

There wasn't much to see today.

Oklahoma State rolled to a 72-59 victory over the lowly Texas Longhorns to win their second-straight road game, and fifth-straight overall game to move to 17-5 on the year and 7-3 in Big 12 play.

A slow start made the game a little closer than OSU would've liked, as Marcus Smart had seven turnovers, most of which came in the first half. Regardless of that, the Pokes went into the break with a 29-22 advantage, and Smart took control in the second.

He finished with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists to go along with 5 steals, adding to his freshman steal record for the Big 12.

Outside of Smart, Markel Brown put together another solid performance, though his shooting has been slightly colder than what we've become used to this season. He got 17 points in Austin on 5-11 shooting, and also added 6 rebounds.

Here are a few thoughts…

I think I'm most impressed by Le'Bryan Nash's performance today, though it won't fully show up on the stat sheet. He had 14 points, but he really concentrated on the defensive end and that showed up in the rebounding department. He grabbed 4 right out of the gate, and finished with a team-high 9 rebounds on the game.

That's five wins in a row for the Cowboys. It's reasonable to expect this streak to stretch to seven before the Jayhawks visit on February 20th.

Marcus Smart is really good at basketball. Turnovers hurt his team in the first half, so he started looking for his shot instead while locking down on the defensive end.

I really like the matchup zone defense that Travis Ford throws out there from time to time. It speaks a lot to his coaching ability to run that, as a defensive set like that takes a ton of communication and organization. Not only that, but it's extremely effective right now.

I don't think I've ever seen a Texas basketball team as bad as this. Given, they're missing their own version of Marcus Smart in Myck Kabongo, but still. Texas is Texas, yet the Cowboys handled them like they were a Texas Tech team today.

Kamari Murphy had another solid game. He was getting a ton of minutes early in the season due to Michael Cobbins' injury, but once Cobbins returned he fell into a bench spot. As most freshman do, he went through a lull, but he seems to have snapped out of it as he's strung together a solid performance in 4-straight games. Today he had 5 points and 6 rebounds, something Ford will gladly accept.

Oklahoma State travels to Texas Tech on Wednesday evening before returning to Gallagher-Iba Arena on Saturday to host the Oklahoma Sooners.


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