Stillwater, OK (Sports Network) - Markel Brown scored 23 points and Le'Bryan
Nash added 20 as 20th-ranked Oklahoma State put on an impressive overall
display in an 81-58 rout of Portland State at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
The Cowboys, ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 2007 following
their recent championship at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, shot 57.1 percent from
the field en route to their first 5-0 start since the 2009-10 season. Brown
hit on 10-of-14 attempts, while Phil Forte went 5-of-7 in a 15-point effort.
Oklahoma State also shined on the defensive end, limiting the Vikings to just
39.6 percent shooting for the game.
"They are as good as advertised, as we saw on television," said Portland State
head coach Tyler Geving. "At the Puerto Rico Challenge, they played some good
teams and we saw what they did to N.C. State (a 76-56 win). We knew coming in
here it wasn't going to be easy."
Renado Parker and Michael Harthun each finished with 12 points for Portland
State (1-3), which dropped its third straight following a season-opening win.
The one-week layoff following the Puerto Rico tournament had little effect on
the Cowboys, who sped out to a 14-3 lead just over six minutes into the
contest and went ahead by a 22-7 count when Nash followed a 4-point play by
Forte by knocking down a jumper with 9:07 remaining in the first half.
"I was glad that we got out to a good start," said Cowboys head coach Travis
Ford. "That was important for us; keeping the momentum going from last
weekend. We passed the ball extremely well coming out of the gate. We
defended extremely well in the first half."
A 7-0 run capped by Brown's 3-pointer later on extended Oklahoma State's
advantage to 31-12 with 6:30 left before the break, and the Cowboys were up by
as many as 20 points before two made free throws from Harthun brought Portland
State within 40-22 at intermission.
The second half was more of the same, with Brown netting seven points during a
13-2 spurt to begin the period as the Cowboys built a commanding 53-24 lead
with 15 minutes to go.
Oklahoma State cruised the rest of the way, with Portland State never cutting
the margin under 20 points.
Oklahoma State was last ranked in the Associated Press poll the week of Feb.
12, 2007, when the Cowboys were listed No. 18 in the top 25 ... The Cowboys
have now held their opponents to a 34.5 percent field goal percentage over
their first five outings ... Oklahoma State improved to 5-0 all-time against
Big Sky foes, with Sunday's matchup marking the first-ever meeting between
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