STILLWATER — When the game was on the line, and Bedlam bragging rights up for grabs, Oklahoma State’s pair of McDonald’s All-Americans delivered.
In possibly the biggest Bedlam battle of the last decade, Marcus Smart and Le’Bryan Nash came through in the clutch to deliver the Cowboys an 84-79 overtime victory over rival Oklahoma in front of a crowd of 13,611 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“I’m really proud of our basketball team. They’re making me greyer and greyer by the day, but very proud of them,” OSU coach Travis Ford said after OSU’s fourth victory by five points or less in the past six games. “As I told our team, the reason we’ve been able to win some of these games is we’ve got good kids and we’ve got kids that are very close — a very close-knit team that believes in each other.
“They enjoy winning. We don’t do it pretty all the time, we’ve won in a lot of different ways ... and today fell in the category of just playing with a lot of heart.”
For Smart, Saturday was a chance to avenge a poor performance against the Sooners in Norman a month ago.
In that road loss the freshman point guard found himself in foul trouble and never could get in a flow. Saturday, Smart scored a career-high and led all scorers with 28 points — thanks to going 11 for 14 from the free throw line and 3 for 4 from 3-point range.
“That game wasn’t a good game for me, I got into foul trouble early and the rest of the game I was frustrated and wasn’t able to be there for my team. I felt bad and that’s all I was thinking about this week was this game today and OU,” Smart said. “I just needed to come out and prove I was a better player, play right and I wasn’t going to let them frustrate me this time.”