No. 20 Cowboys Roll Portland State

Sunday, November 25th 2012, 6:48 pm
By: News 9

The Cowboys trio of stars on the basketball court have taken turns leading OSU in scoring so far this season and Sunday afternoon in Stillwater was Markel Brown's turn to shine.

Brown scored a season-high 23 points to lead the No. 20 Cowboys to an easy 81-58 victory against Portland State in Gallagher-Iba Arena. It was the Pokes first game as a Top 25 team in five years.

Brown finished with career-high in field goals (10) to go with his season-best for points and rebounds (5).

OSU (5-0) dominated the Vikings (1-3) from the opening tip, thanks in large part to another outstanding defensive performance. OSU held PSU to a season-worst 22 points at halftime as the Cowboys led by 18 at the break.

This game was put out of reach early in the second half when the Pokes charged out of the locker rooms with a 13-2 run to take a commanding 53-24 lead.

Le'Bryan Nash scored 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting and pulled down five rebounds. Freshman sharpshooter Phil Forte was the only other Cowboy in double figures with 15 points and he did it efficiently on 5-of-7 shooting, including 3-for-3 on free throws and 2-for-3 from the 3-point line.

Freshman phenom Marcus Smart had another well-rounded performance with eight points, three rebounds and nine assists. His nine assists are the third most in game by a freshman in OSU history. Smart did struggle with his shot, going just 3-for-9 and also committed an uncharacteristic five turnovers.

The Pokes' third impact freshman, Kamari Murphy, had another solid outing with nine points and five boards in the post.

As a team, OSU shot 57.1 percent from the floor and 46.7 percent from 3 (7-15). OSU limited Portland State to 30.8 percent shooting in the first half but the grip loosened late in the game, allowing the Vikings to finish 39.6 percent from the floor.

OSU outrebounded the Vikings 31-29 and won the turnover battle 16-13.

It was a strong outing for a Cowboy team that hasn't played in a week after topping No. 6 NC State in the finals of the Puerto Rico Tipoff last Sunday.

The Cowboys will be tested in their next contest as they hit the road for a Dec. 1 showdown with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., at 1 p.m. on