Tuesday, March 04, 2014
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Oklahoma State 77, Kansas State 61

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[March 04, 2014]  STILLWATER, Okla. Oklahoma State 77, Kansas State 61: Phil Forte III tied a season high with 23 points to help the host Cowboys pick up their fourth straight win following a seven-game slide.

Marcus Smart had 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals for Oklahoma State (20-10, 8-9 Big 12), which has greatly enhanced its NCAA Tournament hopes with a dramatic turnaround since Smart returned from a three-game suspension. Markel Brown had 15 points and Le'Bryan Nash chipped in with 13 for the Cowboys.

Thomas Gipson collected 10 points and 13 rebounds while Wesley Iwundu had 10 points and 10 boards to pace the Wildcats (20-10, 10-7), who fell to fifth place in the conference. Leading scorer Marcus Foster was limited to nine points on 4-of-16 shooting, part of a 34.5 percent showing for Kansas State.

Oklahoma State scored the final six points of the first half to take a 35-27 lead and Forte's 3-pointer four minutes into the second made it 43-34. Forte drained another following a Brian Williams dunk as the margin grew to 50-39 approaching the midway point of the half.

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The lead was reduced to eight after Iwundu had consecutive baskets before Smart was good from long range to make it 57-46 with eight minutes left. Smart was forced to the bench with four fouls with 5:38 left but Oklahoma State kept charging with a 9-1 surge  including another triple for Forte  to open up a 67-54 lead with 3:35 left and the hosts were never threatened again.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The Cowboys were 28-of-34 from the line, compared to 18-of-28 for the Wildcats. ... Forte made six of his team's seven 3-pointers. ... Kansas State finishes its regular season at home against Baylor and Oklahoma State visits No. 17 Iowa State on Saturday.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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