Delaware St.-Oklahoma St. Preview
Marcus Smart used Saturday's game against Louisiana Tech as an opportunity to get his Oklahoma State teammates involved.
He'll likely have another opportunity to do so Tuesday night when the seventh-ranked Cowboys host a struggling Delaware State team before they head to Las Vegas to face 10-1 Colorado in the MGM Grand Showcase.
Smart has taken a total of 16 shots in the last two games, though the preseason All-American has still reached double figures in every game this season for the Cowboys (9-1) after a 13-point effort against Louisiana Tech.
"I'm just trying to focus on making sure that I don't force a lot of things because I do have a talented group of guys around me that I really don't need to force things," he said. "They can create also, so I just kind of let them get in the flow of their game."
Swing man Le'Bryan Nash was the main beneficiary, scoring a game-high 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting, though he wasn't thrilled with his game.
"I wish I could have finished more shots," Nash said. "I probably would have had a career high or something."
It wasn't just Nash left wanting more. Oklahoma State shot a season-low 43.3 percent from the floor, including a 2-for-12 mark from 3-point range.
"(We) didn't get off to a good start," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. "We can contribute it to taking eight days off, finals week, different things, but we just didn't make good decisions offensively early in the game."
That came a game after shooting 44.6 percent in a 79-52 win against South Carolina on Dec. 6.
Still, the Cowboys are averaging 88.4 points behind Smart's Big 12-best 19.0, Markel Brown's 15.6 and Nash's 13.8.
Brown has experienced the worst of the team's recent dip in scoring. The senior averaged 19.3 points on 57.1 percent shooting in their first six games, but that's dropped to 10.8 on 35.7 percent from the floor in the last four.
The Cowboys have been held under 80 points in each of those games after scoring a minimum of 93 in their first six. They've hit 22.6 percent of their 3-point attempts in the last four after knocking down 47.7 percent in their first six.
Oklahoma State is chasing a third straight win after losing 73-68 to Memphis in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic on Dec. 1. It'll likely be able to weather another slow start or a single player having an off night against Delaware State (2-8).
The Hornets are averaging 60.3 points on 40.5 percent shooting and have been held to 50 points or fewer four times in 10 games.
They've dropped three straight after Sunday's 64-62 overtime loss to Howard. Guard Kendal Williams led the team with 19 points to boost his season average to 9.9 per game.
The only two Hornets scoring in double figures are Tyshawn Bell (11.0) and Casey Walker (10.8).
Delaware State is 0-14 against ranked opponents in the last decade, losing by an average of 19.9 points per game. The Hornets have been held to 50 points or less against their last five ranked foes.
This is the first meeting between the two schools.