No. 8 Oklahoma State crushes Utah Valley, 93-40
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP)
It took about 10 minutes for No. 8 Oklahoma State to get its motor running in a 55-point rout to open the season last Friday. In start No. 2 - a 93-40 victory over Utah Valley on Tuesday night - it took about half as long.
The Cowboys hit 6 of 8 shots to open the game, including three 3-pointers, and built a 15-2 lead just 3 1/2 minutes in. Nine minutes into the game, Oklahoma State led 25-5. After 20 minutes, the hosts, who hit 10 of 18 from behind the 3-point line, led 50-25.
When it was over, Oklahoma State (2-0) had made 14 of 33 from 3-point range, getting four each from Phil Forte and Big 12 preseason Player of the Year Marcus Smart. The 3-point total was one shy of a school record.
Freshman Stevie Clark, who had six assists, hit 3 of 4 from behind the 3-point line. Markel Brown added two 3-pointers.
''This was just one of those nights,'' said Forte, who, despite not starting, has led the team in scoring in both games this season. ''We had been shooting a lot in practice. We were hitting on all cylinders tonight and we're really hard to stop. We're moving the ball really well, getting in the lane, pitching out to different guys who can knock down shots. When we're doing that it makes the game a lot easier.''
''It's just one of those nights,'' Smart added. ''We had been shooting the ball well in practice. We've been having guys dedicated coming in and out at countless hours of the night, coming back in the morning doing some things and in practice continuing to work. So we knew it would pay off and it was just one of those nights.''
OSU forced Utah Valley into 23 turnovers. Smart had a school-record nine steals and the Cowboys finished with 18.
Without a doubt, sixth-year head coach Travis Ford likes what he has seen through two games in 2013-14. All told, Ford saw six players score in double figures led by Forte's 19. Clark scored 16, Smart added 14, Le'Bryan Nash totaled 11, and Brian Williams and Brown each finished with 10. Smart had five rebounds, and four assists.
''I'm very happy with the start we had,'' said Ford, whose team plays Friday against Arkansas Pine Bluff. ''I don't think we could have gotten off to a better start than we did.
''I thought the first 15 minutes of the first half set the tone. We got off to a big lead. We didn't finish the half the way that I wanted and the last 5 minutes weren't great defensively. Everybody got an opportunity to play. Everybody came out of the gates and played very hard and aggressive.''
For Utah Valley (2-1) it was their worst loss since joining the Division I ranks. The Wolverines attempted 68 free throws and turned the ball over 22 times in their first two games this season. On Tuesday, Utah Valley attempted nine free throws and had 23 turnovers.
It was a struggle all night on both ends of the court for the visitors. Senior guard Holton Hunsaker, averaging a team-high 18 points per game heading into Tuesday's game, did not score until 3:26 remained in the game. The Wolverines hit 14 of 44 from the field and scored 11 second-half points.
''I wish we could have been a little bit stiffer competition, but that is the nature of the beast,'' said 12th-year head coach Dick Hunsaker, whose squad beat North Carolina A&T on Monday night at home. ''It is a credit to (OSU) for the way they jumped on his. It is obviously difficult because Oklahoma State is a very good team. To fall behind that quickly, against a team like that, it's tough to come back.
''We play multiple athletic teams in our non-conference, but (OSU) is a special team in all facets of the game.''
Keawe Enos and Hayes Garrity each finished with eight points for Utah Valley.