STILLWATER — With Travis Ford preaching this week that his Oklahoma State squad needed to get everybody more involved offensively, the Cowboys had five players score in double digits and rallied for a 78-76 victory over Iowa State.
Point guard Marcus Smart led the Cowboys in every sense of the word.
The freshman from Flower Mound, Texas, hit a pair of buzzer beaters to score a game-high 21 points to lift OSU to the victory. Smart also had a game-high 7 assists, 4 steals and 6 rebounds.
“I think he’s one of the best players in the country,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said of Smart. “He’s just a winner. He makes big plays when they matter most. He does everything for them. That kid’s a stud.”
Smart gave Oklahoma State (14-5, 4-3 in Big 12 Conference) the victory when he drove the lane and banked in a shot with 3.1 seconds left in the game — which took 10 minutes to complete.
“We wanted to take the last shot and we wanted to get to the rim, period,” Ford said. “We ran a play to set a couple screens for him and let him go, and told him to go at about 7 seconds. I said, ‘Get to the rim. If somebody helps, you can kick it out, I don’t mind. But don’t settle for a 3-pointer. Get to the rim.’ And he made a nice, physical play.”
Smart’s first buzzer beater came at the end of the first half when he banked in a half-court shot that cut Iowa State’s lead to just 41-37 at the break.
“I practice that shot every day. Right when we walk into the gym I just throw up the shot. My first shot is from half court and I’ve made it about five times,” Smart said. “I didn’t call (the bank), but I wasn’t really expecting it to go in. I was just trying to draw the foul.”