Phil-ing It Up: OSU's Forte Gets Hot, Buries UAPB - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Phil-ing It Up: OSU's Forte Gets Hot, Buries UAPB

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Sometimes all it takes is a little motivation.

Oklahoma State was off to a sluggish, poor-shooting start and leading Arkansas Pine Bluff by 12 points before things got a little testy under the basket. OSU's Marcus Smart got tangled up with Daniel Broughton and the Lions' forward responded by throwing Smart to the court, starting a tussle that resulted in a pair of technical fouls.

And it also resulted in the Cowboys regaining their focus.

From that point on, the No. 8 Pokes ran away from UAPB for a cozy 97-63 victory that wasn't as close as the final score indicates.

Phil Forte sparked a 32-4 run in the second half, including a stretch of six minutes where Pine Bluff failed to score.

Forte entered the night as the Cowboys' leading scorer and nothing changed on that front on Friday.

The sophomore shooting guard was dialed in from outside, hitting 6-of-7 from 3-point range for 22 points. He hit four 3's during the massive run, at one points giving the Pokes an 82-42 lead. Forte is now shooting 63.6 percent from 3-point range this season and is averaging 21 points per game for the 3-0 Cowboys.

Markel Brown, who picked up a technical in the first-half skirmish, tied Forte for the scoring lead with 22 on 9-of-13 shooting and had a pair of Sportscenter Top-10 worthy dunks to fire up the Gallagher-Iba crowd. Marcus Smart finished with 16 points, four rebounds and three assists. Smart once again struggled from the floor, shooting 3-of-9, but found his way to the line regularly, where he shot 10-of-14.

Le'Bryan Nash scored nine and Kamari Murphy chipped in seven for the Pokes, who shot 51.7 percent from the floor and 10-of-25 from 3-point range.

OSU limited UAPB (2-1) to 41.4 percent from the field and outrebounded the Golden Lions 41-30 and also held a 41-24 edge in bench scoring, the latter thanks in large part to Forte's contributions.

Tevin Hammond led UAPB with 15 points while Davon Haynes and DeAndre McIntyre added 13 points each.

The Cowboys are now averaging 102.3 points through three games and are winning by an average of 47.3 points per game. But the competition steps up in a big way on Tuesday when the Pokes host No. 13 Memphis at 7 p.m. Memphis will be the highest-ranked nonconference foe to enter Gallagher-Iba since 1980.

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