After suffering its first loss of the season, No. 23 Oklahoma State got back into the win column with a victory over South Florida on Wednesday night. Behind 15 points from top freshman Marcus Smart, the Cowboys dispatched the Bulls, 61-49, for their sixth win of the year.
With their perfect season spoiled by Virginia Tech on the road last week, the Cowboys (6-1) came into the game hoping that a six-game home-stretch would cure what ailed them. First up was South Florida, winners of three straight and no pushover. The Bulls (5-3) kept it close in a low-scoring first half, and held an 11-9 advantage at the 12-minute mark. Then Smart led Oklahoma State on a 13-4 run over the next eight minutes with four points and a block to take back the lead. At the half, the Cowboys were up, 24-19.
In the second half, Oklahoma State gave itself some breathing room. A 13-3 run starting at the 15-minute mark put the Cowboys up 10, and they comfortably stayed in front from that point forward.
Along with Smart's 15, Markel Brown had 13 points and eight rebounds, while Philip Jurick crashed the glass for 14 boards to go with seven points. Victor Rudd was the top scorer for USF with 14 points, and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick added nine points and seven rebounds. For the game, Oklahoma State beat up the Bulls underneath, snagging 38 rebounds to USF's 23. After a woeful 4-23 performance from three-point range against Virginia Tech, the Cowboys turned in a better game Wednesday, hitting 31 percent from downtown and 40 percent overall.
Oklahoma State's next game will be Dec. 8 against Missouri State. USF will be off until Dec. 18, when the Bulls take on Youngstown State.