STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Le’Bryan Nash scored 22 points, Phil Forte III had 19, and Leyton Hammonds added a career-high 16 as Oklahoma State beat Southeastern Louisiana, 83-55, on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Hammonds and Forte III combined to hit 9 of 13 from 3-point range. Anthony Allen had eight points and 12 rebounds off the bench for OSU. Louisiana State transfer Anthony Hickey had seven assists for a Cowboy squad that led 35-33 at halftime, but outscored SLU 34-14 over the final 12 minutes.
Zay Jackson led SE Louisiana with 16 points. Devonte Upson had 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Lions, who out-rebounded OSU 40-38, hit 6 of 28 from 3-point range and 19 of 61 overall.
The Lions raced to a 17-9 lead six minutes into the contest, but a 3-pointer by Jeff Newberry put OSU up 21-19 with just under nine minutes remaining in the half. A Forte 3-point field goal gave the Cowboys their biggest lead at 30-21, but the visitors rallied and trailed only 35-33 at the break. Seven different Lions had at least one field goal and SE Louisiana out-rebounded OSU 20-17 in the opening 20 minutes.
Hammonds’ fourth 3-pointer of the game pushed the Cowboy lead to 51-39 early in the second half. As a freshman a year ago, Hammonds, a 6-7 forward, had eight total 3-pointers.
A pair of Forte 3-pointers pushed the margin to 62-47 and SE Louisiana struggled down the stretch. The Lions finished with 21 turnovers.
OSU: Oklahoma State improved to 188-4 in home games against non-conference opponents since 1987.
Hickey is a native of Hopkinsville, Ky., located 35 miles from Madisonville where OSU head coach Travis Ford went to high school.
OSU’s 2013-14 home season opener drew just over 9,000 fans. Friday’s attendance was estimated at less than 3,000.
Nash is the Big 12 Conference’s active leader in 20-point games. The senior moved his career total to 21 on Friday.
SLU: First-year Lions head coach Jay Ladner led Jones County (Miss.) Junior College to the 2014 NJCAA championship.
Oklahoma State opens its season with three games in five days, hosting Prairie View A&M on Sunday and Northwestern Oklahoma State on Tuesday.
Southeastern Louisiana plays at the University of Oklahoma on Sunday.