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SPORTS: Oklahoma State University

Cowboys Lose Round Two Against Memphis

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida -

Oklahoma State has made a habit of allowing second-half comebacks this week in the Old Spice Classic.

The Cowboys allowed Purdue to cut a 23-point deficit to four on Thursday, allowed Butler to cut a 16-point deficit to just one and the trend continued on Sunday.

Only this time the Cowboys paid for it.

No. 5 OSU roared back in the first half to take a 10-point lead into the locker room against Memphis, but the Pokes let the lead slip again and this time they couldn't overcome it, losing 73-86 in Round 2 against the Tigers.

Marcus Smart torched Memphis for 39 points in Stillwater on Nov. 19, as the Cowboys rolled to a 101-80 victory. But this time out, Smart couldn't get it going. The All-American was fighting an illness on Sunday and even threw up behind the bench in the first half; there was no doubt it impacted his performance.

But, Smart sickness of not, Memphis outplayed OSU and looked like a different team than the Cowboys faced two weeks ago.

Smart scored 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting, was 0-of-5 from 3 and turned it over five times. Despite his ailment, No. 33 still made a late push for the Cowboys with a pair of driving layups in a 23-second span to cut the Memphis lead to one with two minutes remaining.

But in the end, Smart and the Cowboys didn't have enough. Smart turned it over twice in the final 13 seconds, as the Cowboys failed to even get off a shot attempt in a one-possession game, and Memphis closed things out at the foul line.

It wasn't just Smart who had a rough outing, either. Markel Brown mirrored Smart's shooting performance with a 4-of-13 outing of his own, finishing with 10 points. The team shot 48 percent overall and just 3-of-13 from 3-point range.

After playing just one minute with food poisoning in the first meeting with Memphis, Phil Forte was the lone bright spot with a team-high 19 points on 4-of-6 shooting, 8-of-8 from the free-throw line and hit all three of the team's made 3's on five attempts.

Forward Shaq Goodwin led the Tigers (5-1) with 17 points and eight rebounds, while the guard trio of Chris Crawford, Michael Dixon Jr., and Joe Jackson scored 16, 12 and 11, respectively.

Memphis shot 47.5 percent from the floor but struggled mightily from the foul line, where it converted just 12-of-24 shots.

Sunday's loss is the first of the season for the Pokes, who dropped to 7-1 on the year and 2-1 away from Stillwater.

The Cowboys are back in action on Dec. 6 when they host South Carolina at 8:30 p.m. in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

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