Bayamon, PR (Sports Network) - Phil Forte finished with eight points,
including six in the extra session, as Oklahoma State held off Akron, 69-65,
in a first-round matchup at the Puerto Rico tip-off from Coliseo Ruben
Le'Bryan Nash paced Oklahoma State with 18 points and seven rebounds, Markel
Brown added 17 points and Marcus Smart donated 16 points and nine boards for
the Cowboys (2-0), who were coming off a 73-65 victory over UC Davis in their
Brian Walsh recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while
Zeke Marshall finished with 12 points and 10 boards for the Zips (1-2), who
dropped their opener to Coastal Carolina before defeating Division III John
Carroll on Monday.
Marshall opened overtime with a layup and added a pair of free throws to give
Akron a four-point lead, but Forte buried a 3-pointer with under 90 seconds to
play to trim the deficit to one.
After an empty possession from the Zips, Forte was fouled on a 3-point try and
the freshman guard knocked down all three free throws to give Oklahoma State a
67-65 lead with 52 seconds remaining.
Alex Abreu then missed a layup at the other end and Smart converted a pair of
free throws to give the Cowboys the decisive advantage.
Akron held a three-point edge early in the second half thanks to a 5-0 swing,
but Oklahoma State scored the next 10 points to take a 47-40 lead with under
13 minutes remaining.
The Zips went over 11 minutes without a field goal, but kept it close by going
8-of-11 from the free throw line to make it a 53-48 contest with 6:02 left.
A triple from Jake Kretzer cut the lead to two with 2:11 remaining and, after
Brown missed a 3-pointer at the other end, Marshall drew the contact and
finished the layup, but missed the potential go-ahead free throw to knot the
game at 61-61 and send the game into overtime.
In the first half, a Brown 3-pointer gave the Cowboys a 30-23 lead late, but
the Zips countered with the next six points and trailed just 33-32 heading
into the locker room.
The Sports Network