Nash's Double-Double Leads Cowboys

OKLAHOMA CITY — Four times in the first half, Louisiana Tech players drove inside on Michael Cobbins, and four times he turned them away, sending a collection balls into the stands with powerful blocks. It was that kind of day for Louisiana Tech as Oklahoma State's defense controlled the game en route to the Cowboys 70-55 victory Saturday in the All-College Classic.

="I think (OSU is) very prepared," LTU coach Michael White said. "As prepared as anyone we've played. They knew how we were going to attack. They knew who was getting shots when and where we were going to get them.

"We can get around most teams with our speed and quickness, but we couldn't get around these guys very well."

At Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Cobbins anchored No. 7 OSU's defensive effort while junior forward Le'Bryan Nash powered the offense with his 22 points, the 15th 20-point games in his OSU career.

The Cowboys (9-1) got off to a sloppy start, missing their first six shots and allowing the Bulldogs (8-3) to take a 5-3 lead five minutes into the game. Point guard Marcus Smart said the slow start might have been a result of eight days without a game and having to practice in Gallagher-Iba's smaller back gym due to graduation.

"Playing back there, we didn't have a really good feel," Smart said. "We come in here on this big court, and we got a little sluggish."

But once OSU settled down and began creating turnovers, it took control of the game and sailed to a 31-18 halftime lead. The Pokes' defense prowess continued into the second half and LTU finished with 16 turnovers.

The Bulldogs shot only 32.8 percent from the field and 23 percent from 3-point range.

Scoring was also spotty for OSU throughout the game, but the Cowboys put four players in double digits and did enough to finish the job.

"I wasn't overly concerned because I liked our defense," OSU coach Travis Ford said. "I knew we were locked in. It wasn't like we weren't ready to play. It's just offense is so much about rhythm."

Nash also brought down 10 rebounds for his second career double-double and was rewarded with the All-College Classic's Henry P. Iba Most Valuable Player award.

"It's just me playing hard," Nash said. "This year I'm just playing as hard as I can to help the team win.

"Today it worked out for me. I got the ball in my hands, and I finished it for us to get the win."

Nash quickly invited his teammates to take pictures with his trophy and said he gave the trophy to his mother after the game.

"When you win the MVP, your team wins the MVP," Nash said. "That's just how I am. That's how I was raised."

Smart filled the box score with 13 points, five assists, five rebounds and four steals.

Markel Brown also had 13 points and Kamari Murphy had 10, a testament to the versatility that has OSU at 9-1 heading into Tuesday' game against Delaware State in Stillwater.

"Today it might be my day, tomorrow it might be Marcus's day or Markel's," Nash said. "That's how good we are. That's how good we can score the ball. Today was my day."


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