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Smart, Forte Propel OSU To Blowout Against TCU

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No. 33 wasn't in the lineup for Oklahoma State for the fourth time in five games.

But thankfully for the Cowboys, this time is was just an equipment issue.

Marcus Smart's jersey was accidentally left in Stillwater, but Smart himself was in the lineup in Fort Worth and the Cowboys were certainly better for it. Smart, wearing No. 43 for the evening, scored 15 points in the second half to help Oklahoma State cruise past TCU 76-54 on Monday night.

The dynamic sophomore guard had an abysmal start, connecting on one his first 12 shots, but he hit his final five – all from 3-point range – to help OSU pull away down the stretch to improve to 18-10 on the season and 6-9 in Big 12 play.

Smart's final line: 17 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals. Evidently there weren't any psychological effects from missing his uniform.

While Smart dominated the second half, it was Phil Forte who had things rolling in the first. Forte scored 16 of his game-high 23 in the opening 20 minutes, finishing 8-of-13 from the floor and 5-of-10 from 3-point range.

Freshman Leyton Hammonds got into the action in a big way, as well, scoring a career-high 13 points off the bench on 5-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-5 from 3.

Kyan Anderson led the way for the Horned Frogs with 15 points but struggled on 5-of-14 shooting. Karviar Shepherd and Jarvis Ray scored 11 each for the Frogs, who dropped to 0-15 in Big 12 play and 9-18 overall.

As lopsided as the final score might have been, this game wasn't set in stone until a fast and furious Cowboy rally in the second half put things out of reach.

With OSU leading by 12, Smart drilled a corner 3 to give OSU a 15-point lead but that was only the beginning. On the ensuing possession, Smart stole the ball, pulled off a nifty behind the back dribble in between a pair of defenders and hit Forte for a wide open 3 of his own. OSU's lead swelled to 18.

Then Forte stole the Frog's inbounds pass and found Smart running back to the 3-point line -- nothing but the bottom of the net.

In just 25 seconds, OSU turned a 12-point lead into a 21-point cushion with 4:37 remaining. The spurt demoralized TCU, which made two baskets for the remainder of the contest.

OSU shot 45.2 percent for the game with exactly half of its 28 made baskets coming from behind the arc, as the Cowboys buried 14-of-31 3's on the evening. TCU shot 41.5 percent and connected on just 4-of-13 3-point attempts.

The Cowboys outscored TCU 22-10 in points off turnovers, 11-4 on fast break points and 18-7 in bench points.

No. 5 Kansas comes to Stillwater on Saturday in a game that will have substantial NCAA Tournament implications for the Pokes. Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

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