Nash scores 16, Oklahoma State beats Texas Tech 63-43
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Le’Bryan Nash scored 16 points as Oklahoma State never trailed in defeating Texas Tech 63-43 Wednesday night.
Phil Forte added 15 points and Jeff Newberry had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists for Oklahoma State (13-5, 3-3 Big 12). OSU had lost its last two and gone three of the last four – all against ranked conference opponents.
”I’m proud of our team, I thought we played a good second half,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford. ”The first half, they just made a lot of shots off of second-chance opportunities. I thought we played very well in the second half.”
Freshman Keenan Evans scored a career-high 18 points to lead Texas Tech (10-9, 0-6), which has lost eight of its last nine.
Oklahoma State’s defense allowed its second-lowest field goal percentage of the season, limiting Tech to just 27.8 percent shooting (15 of 54). Take Evans out of the equation and the Red Raiders made just 19.5 percent of their shots (8 of 41) on the night.
”Keenan’s a guy that is usually not this offensively productive, but tonight, they were giving him the shot and he kept making it,” said Tech coach Tubby Smith. ”Tonight, he was an outstanding player for us and he did it at both ends of the court. He played solid defensively, he really did all the things we needed him to do, he just needed a little more help.”
Leading 32-27 early in the second half, Oklahoma State went on a 19-6 run over the next eight-plus minutes to push the lead into double digits. When Anthony Hickey made a perfect alley oop pass that Jeff Newberry slammed down with 9:51 to go, the Cowboys led 51-33.
Ford also singled out forward Michael Cobbins for his outstanding performance. In 25 minutes of playing time, Cobbins scored seven points, had a team-high eight rebounds and blocked five shots.
”I thought he really gave us some energy, good leadership, did a lot of good things for us,” Ford said of Cobbins. ”He’s been playing well in practice the last two days, and I thought he was terrific. He’s such a difference-maker on our team when he plays like that. It does so much for us.”
Oklahoma State surged out to an 8-0 lead on Newberry’s 3-pointer with 17:34 left in the opening half. Texas Tech pulled within 11-8 when Evans hit a short jumper with 12:53 left in the half.
OSU built its advantage back to 25-16 when Cobbins slammed home a pass from Hickey, but Evans continued his hot shooting by making three consecutive 3s to tie the game for the first time at 25-all with 4:29 remaining.
The Cowboys scored the last five points of the half for a 30-25 lead. Texas Tech missed its final six shots before the break.
”It was a great win tonight,” said Hickey, who wound up with eight assists. ”A couple of guys stepped up tonight, we came out aggressive, and we just got to keep the pedal on the gas and keep it going.”
Texas Tech: Keenan Evans, a freshman from the Dallas suburb of Richardson, Texas, led Texas Tech in scoring for the first time this season and became the ninth different player to at least tie for the Red Raiders lead in scoring. Evans, whose previous season-high was 10 points in the opener, is also the sixth different player in a row to top the team in points.
Oklahoma State: After trailing most of the game, the Cowboys won the rebounding battle 36-32. They had been outrebounded in their previous two contests and in three of the prior four (while tying No. 17 Texas). Michael Cobbins led OSU with eight rebounds, while Anthony Hickey had five.
Texas Tech hosts No. 9 Iowa State on Saturday.
Oklahoma State travels to Kansas State on Saturday.
Texas Tech never once led in the contest. The Red Raiders were tied at 25 and that was it. . Le’Bryan Nash was called for two fouls in the contest’s first six minutes and sat the rest of the first half. At that point, he had four points and two rebounds. In the second half, he scored 12 more points, adding two more rebounds and blocking two shots. . Junior guard Devaugntah Williams entered the day leading Texas Tech in scoring with an average of 10.9 per game, but was shut out. In just 16 minutes, Williams shot 0 for 3, with one rebound and two turnovers.