The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

February 24, 2014

Smart, Forte lead OSU over TCU

FORT WORTH, Texas — Marcus Smart scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half in his first road game since returning from a suspension for shoving a fan and Phil Forte matched his season high with 23 as Oklahoma State beat TCU 76-54 Monday night.

Forte and Smart were playing in front of a friendly crowd not far from the high school they led to a pair of Texas state championships before coming to the Cowboys together.

Forte scored 16 in the first half and ended up going 5-of-10 from 3-point range as Oklahoma State (18-10, 6-9 Big 12) hit 14 from long range and won its second straight after stopping a seven-game losing streak in Smart’s return.

Kyan Anderson scored 15 to lead the Horned Frogs (9-18, 0-15), who dropped to 2-31 in two Big 12 seasons.

Smart wore No. 43 without his name on the back because the equipment crew didn’t take his No. 33 on a trip to Waco a week ago and forgot to pack it for his first game away from home since a three-game suspension for shoving a fan at Texas Tech.

The preseason All-America guard didn’t look much like No. 33 early, missing his first five shots and going 1 for 12 before a long 3-pointer that restored Oklahoma State’s double-digit lead in the second half.

Smart’s slow start wasn’t a product of heckling from opposing fans because the sparse and mostly quiet crowd actually favored the Cowboys. Three of their top four scorers — Smart, Forte and Le’Bryan Nash — are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

One TCU student brought a sign that read “Free Shoves” with the outline of a pair of hands, and another wore boxing gloves. Both were in the front row of the student section, but not at court level because the stands are about 4 feet above the floor.

There are no courtside seats for fans at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, but that will change starting after the season when the building that opened in 1961 undergoes a $59 million renovation that will force the Horned Frogs to play elsewhere next season.

Forte and Smart combined for the sequence that put the game away. Forte hit a 3-pointer and stole the inbound pass, finding Smart on the left wing for another from beyond the arc to give the Cowboys a 67-46 lead with 4:38 remaining.

Smart left the game immediately after a 3-pointer that made it 73-51.

TCU had pulled within six on a 10-0 run midway through the second half. Karviar Shepherd missed a jumper that would have made it a four-point game, and Brian Williams had a put-back on a missed 3 by Forte to end the run.

After Anderson missed a layup on a wild drive, Smart hit a long 3-pointer for a 52-41 lead, and TCU coach Trent Johnson was called for a technical foul after calling a timeout. Forte’s free throws pushed the lead back to 15.

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