Phil Forte Scores 26 In Win Over WVU

Late in the first half, Travis Ford's wardrobe told the story. The suit jacket was off. Oklahoma State was in trouble. The Cowboys were down 13 points with five minutes left until the break and lacked any kind of offensive consistency. Contested jumpshots were followed by turnovers. The Cowboys couldn't even grab an offensive rebound. Suddenly everything changed. You can thank Phil Forte for that.

On the afternoon he changed his number from 10 to 13, Forte was phenomenal. The extra ‘3' on his uniform? An omen of things to come.

"(Forte) is an extremely dedicated individual to the game," Ford said. "He lives in the gym, a tireless working and a great defender. Obviously, he can get his shot off, and he can get it off quickly … he had a good night."

Forte showed Ketion-esque confidence from deep, hitting one 3-pointer from close to the center logo, and plenty more from the corner. He had 11 points at halftime and a game/career-high 26 points on 6-of-11 3-point shooting. The Cowboys defeated West Virginia 80-66.

"I have the easy part," Forte said. "All I have to do is go out there and just step in and shoot it. When you have teammates and coaches like we have that believe in me and want me to shoot the ball as much as possible, it makes it really easy to go out there with confidence and shoot the ball. That's kind of my role on the team."

His energy, and a switch to zone defense, sparked the Cowboys to a 19-3 run to finish the first half, giving OSU (13-5, 3-3) a three-point lead at the break, 30-27. In the second half, junior guard Markel Brown joined the Cowboys' scoring offensive (21 points). He went 4-of-6 from 3-point range.

The two combined for 50 points. That's 62.5 percent of the Cowboys' total offense.

"They did a great job," Ford said. "They made shots. I like the shots that they took. When shots are going in, that's a big help. When you score 50 points in a half, you have a good chance to win."

But it wasn't just a two-man team win. Phillip Jurick finished with 8 points and 12 rebounds. Marcus Smart quietly added 13 points and four assists, despite his game-high 7 turnovers.

---

NOTES:

Remember the 10:
The Cowboys honored the 10 people killed in the 2001 plane crash with a pregame moment of silence.

"It's always good to have a great feeling right now," Ford said. "It's good to win a game on this day."

KEY NUMBER: 50 – Second-half points by the Cowboys

UP NEXT: Iowa State
The Cowboys host Iowa State (14-5, 4-2) at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday in Gallagher-Iba Arena. / TV: Big 12 Network / RADIO: KSPI 93.7 FM

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