Marcus Smart was already thought to be one of, if not the nation’s freshman this season, and he didn’t dissuade anyone from that opinion on Wednesday night.
Smart went for 21 points, seven boards, six assists and four steals while shooting 9-15 from the floor to lead Oklahoma State to a 78-76 win over Iowa State in Stillwater.
His biggest shot came with 3.1 seconds left, after the Pokes had erased an 11 point second half deficit. With the game tied on the final possession, Smart came off of a high-ball screen, shaking free from Will Clyburn and hitting a floater off the glass over Georges Niang.
(CLICK HERE: For video of Smart’s game-winner.)
That set up one of the weirder endings you’ll see this season.
After Le’Bryan Nash used the foul that Oklahoma State had to give, the Cyclones turned the ball over on the inbounds. But on the ensuing inbounds pass, Nash was called for a foul battling with Chris Babb for position. As Babb was getting set to shoot a 1-and-1, the officials huddled and ruled that since Nash didn’t have possession of the ball, it was a player control foul and that Iowa State should get the ball out of bounds. Tyrus McGee missed a prayer at the buzzer that would have won the game.
This was a key win for an Oklahoma State team looking to add a bit of padding to a thoroughly mediocre resume. Avoiding 3-4 in league play was important as well, as the Pokes are headed to Kansas on Saturday.
It makes you wonder: where would the Pokes have been if Marcus Smart hadn’t hit a 60-foot runner at the end of the first half?:
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.