Oklahoma State won a crucial Big 12 game Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2012, beating Iowa State 78-76 to stay in contention in conference standings. With three league losses the Cowboys could not have afforded a loss.
Oklahoma State plays at No.1 Kansas Saturday.
It was also reported by the Tulsa Newspaper that Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart might be a one-and-done player. The point guard who is on his way to an All American season is projected as a top-10 draft pick, so he may not return. He is also on many top player award lists.
He showed why in Wednesday's game.
He hit a driving jumper in the lane with 3.1 seconds left to provide the winning margin at 78-76. Just before halftime, after Iowa State had gone on a short run and taken a 7-point lead, he hit a half-court shot at the buzzer to put the Cowboys back within four at the half.
Smart finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Le'Bryan Nash score 20, coming out of his recent slump to help in the effort.
Phil Forte scored 17 for the Cowboys. Michael Cobbins and Markel Brown each scored 10, giving Oklahoma State five players in double figures.
Still, it was the play of Smart in key situations that made the difference.
The game was close most of the way but Iowa State led by as many as 11 in the second half. It was Smart that made some plays to get a 9-0 Cowboy run going that helped the Cowboys catch up.
Chris Babb led Iowa State with 19, Georges Niang added 16 and Will Clyburn scored 14. Tyrus McGee scored nine, all on 3-pointers, and all of them came at times when the Cowboys were making a charge.