STILLWATER, Okla. — West Virginia reduced Marcus Smart to a chair-kicking, fuming shell of his All-American self. Before fouling out in the final minute, he missed 6-of-7 shots, glared after whistles went against him and scored a season-low four points.

Yet No. 11 Oklahoma State, even with its NBA-ready point guard trudging through an abysmal day, relied on its other components—in particular, Le’Bryan Nash playing like LeBron—to keep West Virginia at bay, 81-75.

BOXSCORE: Oklahoma State 81, West Virginia 75

Nash poured in a career-best 29 points and five Cowboys not named Smart scored in double figures, giving OSU (16-3, 4-2) its second narrow escape against the Mountaineers in two weeks.

“I think he’s probably the hardest (player to) guard in our league,” said WVU coach Bob Huggins. “He can bounce it. If you let him catch it inside of 15 feet, he’s got a great chance to score. He’s been terrific all year.”

MORE: Harris keeps comments brief on fifth foul

Nash scored 18 in Morgantown on Jan. 11, but that was only a precursor to his exceptional performance in the rematch. The junior forward sank 10-of-13 shots—several coming off putbacks as he claimed nine rebounds—and also made 9-of-14 free throws.

“If I get going, I feel like I’m hard to stop,” said Nash, who raised his scoring average to 14.1 per game. “I really believe that in myself, I feel like I’m a great scorer. I’m just playing hard and it comes natural for me.”

Nash also fouled out, one of six players disqualified in a game that featured 56 fouls—32 of those against West Virginia.

Eron Harris, thanks to making 6-of-7 from 3-point range, did 21 points worth of damage in only 21 minutes. But he fouled out with 3:36 left, mere seconds after his back-to-back 3s pulled WVU to within 70-67.

Devin Williams, Gary Browne and Nate Adrian also fouled out for the Mountaineers (11-9, 3-4), who were so racked with foul trouble in the first half that walk-on Tyrone Hughes made his first non-garbage time appearance.

Hughes was on the court at the end of the opening half when Oklahoma State went on a 10-0 run to lead 42-35. Though that felt like a backbreaking sequence, Harris scored nine quick points to start the second half and WVU was back in it for good.

“(At halftime) we knew we’ve got grind it out, which we did,” said Harris.

Juwan Staten finished with 19 points, four assists and four rebounds, while also losing five turnovers. He drew a couple fouls from Smart as the two point guards hit the floor after several collisions.

“(Smart) likes to be physical, so you have to be physical back,” Staten said. “You try to get in his head a little bit, try to get him to commit some fouls he doesn’t want to commit, try to get him in foul trouble. That’s what we did.

“We knew that if we could get him in foul trouble and slow him down that we’d have a pretty good chance of winning this game.”

And West Virginia had its chance, rallying from nine points down to trail 75-72 with 44 seconds left. That’s when Adrian, moments after draining a 3 from the top of the circle, caught a pass from Staten on the right wing. This time the freshman’s 3 bounced off the back rim, and he promptly grabbed OSU’s 90-percent foul shooter Phil Forte.

“This is the first time Nate’s been put in this situation—playing a team like this on the road,” Staten said. “He made big shots and he’ll continue to make big shots. This is just one that he missed.”

Forte made six free throws in the final 36 seconds and was 8-of-8 overall, helping make up for his 1-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Oklahoma State finished just 4-of-24 from deep, including 0-of-4 by Smart and 1-of-7 by Markel Brown, who made his 15 points loud nonetheless thanks to several dunks.

CONTAINING SMART
Huggins said West Virginia tried to play physical against Smart “because he creates a lot of contact.” The future lottery pick certainly was marginalized, coming nowhere near the 22-point, 13-rebound effort he delivered at the WVU Coliseum.

Said Harris: “He’s supposed to be this big thing, but he’s a human being just like me, so whatever.”

Cowboys coach Travis Ford suggested game film would tell an accurate story on the calls and defense that limited Smart: “I think he did get a little frustrated, and I’m anxious to see if it was justified.”

POKES PITCH IN
Along with Forte’s 13 points, Stevie Clark and Brian Williams scored 10 each, combining for 8-of-12 shooting.

“Stevie came in and just played his tail off,” Brown said. “He’s getting great within this Big 12 run and we’re going to need that. He’s going up against Marcus (Smart) every day in practice, so what better player do you want to go up against?”

REBOUNDING
Markel Brown grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, including a putback dunk before the half, yet Oklahoma State was outboarded 41-36.

WVU’s Williams struggled with 2-of-9 shooting from in close, but claimed nine rebounds, while Harris and Adrian grabbed six each.

HENDERSON STRUGGLES
The confident Terry Henderson who scored a career-high 28 against Texas Tech earlier this week? He shot 1-of-10 from the floor and 0-of-5 from 3-point range Saturday, though he made 6-of-8 free throws to finish with eight points.

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Comments

  • OKANYDAY

    Huggins looks like he is wearing a tent from LLBean, with the Eddie Bauer package. Ha !

  • shawn

    The Mad Wise Hatter and all their dumb a** chatter, it's a shame your parents wasted all that baby batter.

  • SqiDoc

    JB coached in a National Title Game... Huggins has not. Huggins makes a top 10 salary, has a brand new practice facility and inherited a good program from JB. Yet he recruits no-shows, thugs, criminals etc.... sorry not drinking the Kool-Aid anymore kiddies. Without Dasean Butler Huggins would have accomplished very little at WVU. And he did not recruit Butler...BUT PLEASE DON'T LET THAT LITTLE FACT GET IN THE WAY OF YOUR SAD EXCUSES CLONES.

    • Aaron

      Bob Huggins is one of 14 coaches who have taken multiple teams to the final four.

      The Final Four team certainly was not a one man show as Butler was complimented by Devin Ebanks, Kevin Jones, Wellington Smith, John Flowers, Cam Thourghman, Truck Bryant and Casey Mitchell.

      As for Butler, you may very well give Beilein credit for his progression but I doubt very seriously he would agree with you.

      The one area where Huggins must accept responsibility is in the character of the kids and their ability to withstand his rigorous demands. Losing one recruiting class and 4 of 5 from the next has certainly put this team on the spot with little leadership and less toughness, particularly underneath the basket.

      What could this team do with the shot blocking and rebounding of a 7'1 David Nyarsuk or a 6'10 Pat Forsythe or the added scoring of 4 star recruits Jabrarie Hinds or Tommie McCune?

      I am amazed that so many actually believe that Huggins cannot coach or recruit.

  • Barry

    Beilein has taken Michigan to new heights.

    Huggins, since taking Beileins players to the Final Four, has taken us to the bottom of the Big 12.

    Beilein built a program up.

    Huggins tore one down.

    There is no doubt who the better coach is.

    • Steve

      Beleins players were Kevin pittsnoggle and Tyrone Sally...catlett recruited those players...so does that mean gale catlett should get credit for the NCAA tourneys that broke in went to?

    • William

      IM LOVIN' IT

    • Aaron

      Why do people keep posting the fallacy that Huggins took Beilein's players to the final four. The core of that team were Huggins recruits and the 2 holdovers, DeSean Butler and Wellington Smith both learned defense and toughness under Huggins. Butler was a potential NBA player before tearing up is knee in the semi-final loss to Duke because of the basketball he learned under Huggins, not Beilein. Revisionist history doesn't cut it so please stop.

      • Steve

        These Marshall fans like saying things like that...they all pay very close attention to WVU basketball since Marshall has not played in an NCAA tourney in 26 YEARS!!

        • The Wisetalker

          Steve AKA Shawn is an Oliver Luck Troll and has a deep seeded hatred for Marshall...

          He can hardly make a comment without mentioning them.

          • Aaron

            That doesn't change the fact that Barry and others are wrong when they try to give credit to the final four team to anyone other then Coach Huggins.

            As for the support for Oliver Luck, I share it as I realize where WV athletics were, where they were headed and the positive influence Luck has had on WVU athletics.

            I actually feel a little sorry for those who cannot grasp Luck's actions.

          • shawn

            You think i'm steve? haha ok bud

      • Greg

        Spot on. Huggs made men out of boys and they flourished.

  • mad hatter

    i'm telling you , we need to schedule marsha 3 times a season in football and 5 times in basketball,,,we sorely will need these practice sessions and wins

  • Shawn

    I'm just glad mad hatter has come to his senses....who knew he had any?

  • Aaron

    If Marcus Smart is the best PG in the Big 12, then Juwan Staten is the 2nd best. In 2 games against the All American, Staten clearly outplayed his counterpart.

    • mad hatter

      why in the world would huggins say something like that,,, if i were staten, i certainly would let him have an ear ful

      shame on you huggins , once again you show you're unfit for this job

    • Shawn

      Well said again sir.

  • RJ

    Say What? Get your facts straight! When Beilien left, he left a good group of players for Huggs. Beilien took us to NCAA and won the NIT! What have we won since he left? Face it pal, Huggs had these good players like KJ, etc.from the Beilien era that won. However, all these players are his recruits and where have we gone? Have we any of his teams banners hanging in the Coliseum? Instead of the program getting better it seems to be taking a "nose" dive. Nothing personal pal!

    • Steve

      Hugg's big east championship, sweet 16, final 4, and 3 other banners are hanging from the rafters. Not bad for 6 full seasons.

      Rj since you are a Marshall fan, tell me when was the last time they hung an NCAA banner??

      • RJ

        Not a Marshall fan I am a Doc Holliday fan and am supportive of him. Anyway, I shouldn't have to share this you are one of these "Know it All's." By the way, I am a die hard Eer Fan but live in a house divided pal, have to keep peace in the home. HA! Keep your optimism up.

        • Steve

          One of these "Know it All's"? Not really. All I did was give you the facts of bob Huggins's record at WVU. I should have never provided the facts to back up my point. People like you are scared of things like that.

        • Steve

          Yep know you were a Marshall fan. Now answer my question about when was the last time MU played in an NCAA tourney?

          • RJ

            Again Steve since you seem to not get it. I am NOT a Herd fan but have been a Doc Holliday fan since the Coach Nehlen days. Doc is a good coach and a Master recruiter. He is building a top program at Marshall. You have to admit that.(They did beat Maryland in the Military Bowl...I think we lost 37-0 to same Maryland team, if my facts are correct, sure you will correct me if I am wrong)) I am glad our football team did not play Marshall this past year. Doc is blooming where he was planted. However, you can take it to the bank in his veins flow "Old Gold and Blue" once a Mountaineer always a Mountaineer, even deep down Rich Rod is a Eer!!! My better half is a Marshall grad so that is what I mean by a "House Divided"! Have a nice day Mr. Steve. Glad you straightened me out on the facts. Hang in there pal.

    • Aaron

      Seriously RJ, you are admonishing others about their facts when yours are incorrect.

      Kevin Jones, Truck Bryant and Devin Ebanks were part of Bob Huggins first recruiting class in 2008. Belien left behind Joe Alexander (who went one year too early) and DeSean Butler, who credits Huggins for his growth as a basketball players.

      Huggins molded and groomed the final four team into one of the best by demanding rebounding and playing hard nosed defense. That team, which shot a wretched from the floor, hitting less than 40% of all shots and ~30% on 3's was anything but a John Beilien team, which treated defense as a chant for the cheerleaders.

      I do believe you comments warrant you a big ole "COME ON MAN!!!!!"

    • Shawn

      The last time I checked, Huggs coached those kids to the Big East Champ and final four. Beilein would've ever turned those kids into top notch players like Huggs did. Beilein is a great coach and did greats things for us but just remember his recruits weren't top rated players either. Both coaches turned the kids into players. You really need to understand sports a little more bud. Just because you play pick up ball at the Y doesn't mean you know it all about sports. Was last years team a debacle? Yes it was horrible and Huggs didn't do a great job at all of recruiting them. He knew what he had in Staten but his surrounding cast was horrible. They turned their backs on Huggs and it leads to the type of season we had. This years team is different and they are in it together. The final four team was built the same way. Macon and Holton will be ready to play next season and we are brining in a couple kids who can give Staten a break. Keep being a mediocre fan and i'll keep cheering on my EERS every year like I've done for the past 30 years.

      • RJ

        We will just listen to you know it all! You have all the answers. You need to apply for Sports Illustrated and get all your know it answers through you. Time will tell what Huggs does. Time will tell.

        • Steve

          He won a big east championship, went to the NCAA tourney 5 straight times including a sweet 16 and a FINAL FOUR!

          What else would you like for him to do?

          • William

            "Sweatsuit" Huggins has been one BIG FAILURE AND AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE FANS OF WVU
            He is one of the worst coach's in WVU history.

      • mad hatter

        remember, huggis is a hof coach, probably the greatest coach since wooden,,, we will win championships with huggs,,, we are this close says fix it bob from being natl champions.
        we probably will lose one more game this yr and finish on top of the big 12, and next yr, is our natl champ. yr in bb.
        no doubt about it, huggs always finds a way to win,, just look at this yr.
        shawn is really smart , he knows his bb and when he says something we need to listen
        It was totally theplayers fault last yr, and holton and macon will lead us into the light next yr, both probably being all americans

        • Steve

          Why are you so jealous/obsessed with WVU? Do you not have any good things to read about with your favorite team Marshall?

          • shawn

            The Wisetalker should change his name. It doesnt fit him.

        • Shawn

          Your comments pretty much sum up your entire outlook on life. #fairweather

          • The Wisetalker

            Shawn...AKA..."Steve" is a product of "Ollie's Follies.

            He is paid to come into this forum and:

            1. Promote WVU Athletics and their coaches

            2. Attack anyone who voices a negative opinion

            DO NOT answer him....

          • shawn

            What are the facts? That Huggs has a young team who is light years ahead of last years team. The fact is he messed up with the last group of guys and he admits it. The fact is this team is very good and will only get better because of Huggs.

          • mad hatter

            always the positive even if the facts say different

  • mark

    Smart did not play or behave in a manner befitting a player of the year candidate. His behavior can best be described as childish. Travis Ford and the officials conveniently failed to notice as he went on his tirade. I'm glad our guys have some class. If I were Huggs, I'd make my team watch video of OSU's players laughing throughout the game.

    • William

      "Sweatsuit" Huggins has not beat a good teams in over TWO years.
      How bad does it need to get before he is FIRED?
      Last 18 games against good teams - WVU is 0 - 18
      It's a sad time to be a Mountaineer fan wherever you may be!

      • Kevin F.

        "Sweatsuit".................hmmm, we used to call your mother the same thing........ironic

        • OKANYDAY

          Huggins looks like he wearing a tent from LLBean.

  • shawn

    If you can't see improvement from last year then you are all blind. We got blown up pretty much all last year. We are competitive and we don't give up. This will carry over to next year and we'll be better for it.

    • mad hatter

      atta boy shawn you tell um

    • mad hatter

      really , well said shawn

    • The Wisetalker

      Is all you can ever talk about is improvement and next year? How much are they paying you to keep beating that dead horse???

      • Steve

        How much are you getting paid to be a WVU hater/Marshall troll.

        Hey wise talker go get your shine box you mutt!

      • Shawn

        Once again....somebody please give me a list of coaching candidates who could replace Huggins. If you can give me one who could come in and recruit better players to the state of WV please let me know. Huggs has pulled in some good kids this year but they need some playing time. And don't give me far fetched coaches like Self, Petino, etc. Because those aren't happening just like everybody thinks Saban is coming to WVU. Huggs is 3rd among active coaches with the most victories. Spare me bullsh*t about he's not a good coach. He's a hard coach who expects a lot out of his players. He turned Butler, Alexander, Ebanks, Mazzula, etc into players. Until Huggs got there, how many of Beileins players got drafted to the NBA?

        • mad hatter

          no one is smarter than shawn when it comes to BB

          • The Wisetalker

            Steve is as smart as Shawn...

            Why? They are the same person.

          • shawn

            Righto brother

        • WV Man

          Mike Carey.

        • The Wisetalker

          Thank you Shawn Huggins.

          • The Wisetalker

            Sorry, but you have never been right about anything...

            And no, Bigfoot is not real either...

          • Shawn

            Thanks again for showing how right I am when it comes to the coaching search.

    • RJ

      As usual, always NEXT year!!

      • William

        Wake up SHAWNEE, your in a dream -
        "Sweatsuit" Huggins has NOT beat a good team in over two years. HE HAS BEEN A BIG FAILURE AND EMBARRASSMENT TO THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
        Same thing for last four year - WAIT FOR NEXT YEAR.
        Only way to FIX IT -
        FIRE HUGGINS!

        • Kevin F.

          "Sweatsuit".........hmmm, we used to call your mother the same thing.

        • Shawn

          Shawnee? Haha what are you 6?

          • mad hatter

            darn right shawn , go get um

      • Steve

        As you usual? I don't remember anyone saying wait til next year during WVU's run of 5 straight NCAA tournaments. When your starting 5 consists of 1 sr., 1 jr., 2 sophs, and a freshman who have a winning record and have played 11th ranked ok. St. twice losing by a combined 9 points, then I it's truly ok to say wait til next year. It's going to get real good, and as a WVU hater/Marshall fan I know you will be watching. Trolls like yourself watch every game WVU plays. Us real mountaineer fans than you for the support. You're part of the reason why most WVU bball games are on national tv.

        • The Wisetalker

          Steve,

          I haven't figured out yet if you are a Huggins relative, a paid Oliver Luck Troll, just plain stupid or all three.

          In any event, quit bringing up Marshall University, did one of their fans give you a mean look or what?

          No one here but you cares anything about them so quit bringing them up every time WVU loses and someone voices an opinion.

          Just so you will know, we do not care about Marshall University OR your mindless comments...

          So shut the @!#x up!

          • The Wisetalker

            We also know that "Steve" and "shawn" are the same person.

            I am just curious to know...

            ...how much are they paying you?

          • The Wisetalker

            Look Dude,

            I will be the first to agree with you that Marshall Athletics stink to high heaven...especially the Basketball program which may be the very worst in the nation...

            And for the record, you haven't dished out anything yet that I couldn't take...

            And for future reference, don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

          • Steve

            Hahahaha....Wise Talker likes to dish it out but he can't take it!! You got really mad when I brought up Marshall. Hey wise talker sorry that Mu is so pathetic that their team's best player had to transfer to a big 12 school to get any national recognition!! Hahaha!! We're all laughing at you, you big jealous Marshall troll deusche bag!

        • RJ

          Hey pal, read Shawn before you overreact! Carry over to NEXT year! Read! Before you bash someone.

          • Aaron

            You're wrong RJ. The final four team was Huggins team. While Beilein did recruit DeSean Butler and Wellington Smith, both credit Huggins for turning them into the players they became.

            Say what you like but that final four team was Huggins and is a sign of what he can do when he has players for multiple years.

            I get that you don't like him but you don't have to resort to false information to defame him. If you want to talk about his negatives, at least be honest.

          • Say What?

            So then RJ, you're crediting Beilien's success to doing it with Gayle Catlett's players? It wasn't his coaching ability just the fact that Gayle left him with a bunch of good players? That's where you're going with this right? Otherwise your comment makes no sense.

          • RJ

            By the way, those days consisited of a lot of John Beliene players. Check it out!!!

  • Matt

    Love the theme music........dramatic!

  • The Wisetalker

    I have accepted mediocrity and the moral victories...

    The sooner the rest of you accept this the happier you will be.

    It is what it is...

    • Steve

      You're one of the most miserable posters on here...how could you be happy about anything you pathetic loser?

      • The Wisetalker

        Steve,

        Sooner or later you must accept mediocrity if you continue being a WVU FAN. It is high time you come back down to reality. We all see the dream world you are living in.

        And yes, it is perfectly Okay to cry in front of your wife & kids...

        • Steve

          And every time Marshall loses it's ok for you to cry in front of your flaming boyfriend.

          What a miserable piece of s**t you are!

          Poor Marshall troll!!

          • The Wisetalker

            If Marshall loses every game from now on...it would matter nothing to me.

            Dude you have some serious issues...

            What a Joke you are!

  • Teddy

    we shall be victorious!!

  • In da stickes

    We take our lumps for another season and then rise from the ashes like the proverbial Phoenix.

  • chasmo

    another " so close " ... when ????