Stillwater, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - If this is the first of two potential
meetings in a two-week span between Oklahoma State and Memphis, what will
Marcus Smart have in store for an encore?
Smart scored 26 of his career-high 39 points in the first half as No. 7
Oklahoma State routed No. 11 Memphis, 101-80, in the non-bracketed round of
the Old Spice Classic on Tuesday night.
These schools may meet again in Orlando over Thanksgiving weekend. Both are on
opposite sides of the Old Spice Classic bracket.
Smart, whose previous career high was 28 against Oklahoma on Feb. 16, was
11-of-21 from the floor and tallied five steals and four rebounds for
the Cowboys (4-0). Markel Brown added 20 points in the triumph.
"Words can't even explain," Smart said of his performance. "I think this is my
first 30-point game in my career, and it's amazing. It was a great team win
Freshman Nick King finished with 23 points and eight rebounds for Memphis
(1-1), which shot just 15.4 percent (2-of-13) from beyond the arc.
"I've been saying it to my beat writer for a long time now, I believe for our
team to be great, which I believe we can be great, tonight I didn't see that
coming, how they played," Tigers head coach Josh Pastner said.
Smart showcased his entire repertoire in the early stages. Highlighted by a
four-point play and a two-handed dunk to finish a break, the super sophomore
tallied 15 of his team's first 20 points as the Cowboys built a four-point
lead midway through the first half.
Then Smart and the Cowboys surged ahead for good following a 13-2 run.
Smart sunk all his free throws after being fouled on a 3, he nailed a right
wing triple coming off a screen and then knocked down another trey from the
right wing in transition.
After Smart poked the ball away from Michael Dixon Jr., three Memphis
defenders converged on him before he missed a 3, but Brian Williams was wide
open underneath for the putback. Williams then capped the burst with a pair of
free throws for a 35-20 Oklahoma State margin with 7:31 left until the half.
Smart had 24 points at this point.
"Those kinds of moments are special. He was definitely feeling it," Oklahoma
State head coach Travis Ford said. "He made some really tough shots, and
sometimes those aren't really ones you want taken, but you've got to go with
him. When he's feeling it, he knows it."
OK State headed into the locker room with a 50-32 advantage and cruised to the
easy victory over the final 20 minutes.
Smart threw down an alley-oop for his career high-tying 28th point to make it
56-36 and his fifth triple of the night set his new personal best and extended
the gap to 64-43 with 14:21 remaining.
The Cowboys led by as many as 34 down the stretch.
Oklahoma State beat Memphis in the last showdown between the teams, 70-53, in
the second round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament ... Smart's 39 points tied a
school sophomore record ... Williams had 15 points and eight rebounds.
The Sports Network