Bayamon, Puerto Rico (4E Sports) – Le’Bryan Nash, Marcus Smart and Phil Forte combined for 60 points to push Oklahoma State past NC State 76-56 in the Puerto Rico Tipoff title game.
Smart, the tournament MVP, had a pair of 3-pointers in an 8-2 first half run that gave the Oklahoma State Cowboys a 13-9 lead. He collected 18 points in the first half as the Cowboys led 38-28 at the break.
“I could sense I was hot and my teammates got me the ball and it got us going,” said Smart.
Nash took over the scoring load in the second half, hitting with 17 points, with Forte’s three 3-pointers further burying NC State.
Smart finished within 20 points along with seven rebounds and seven assists. Nash led all scorers with 23 and Forte added 17.
Rodney Purvis had 16 points and T.J. Warren added 15 points for the NC State Wolfpack (3-1), who shot only 28.6 percent from the field.
The Cowboys outrebounded the Wolfpack 45-34.
“The way we started the game was the difference,” said coach Ford.
He was elated with how his Cowboys outgunned one of the top teams in America and competed with them in every aspect.
NC State coach Mark Gottfried admitted it was a poor performance from his squad.