STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Phil Forte scored 20 points and No. 6 Oklahoma State looked sharp after a nine-day break, beating Robert Morris 92-66 on Monday night.
Markel Brown added 18 points for Oklahoma State (12-1) in the Cowboys’ final tuneup before opening Big 12 Conference play on Saturday at Kansas State. Oklahoma State will enter 2014 with its highest ranking in The Associated Press poll since February 2005, when the Cowboys were at No. 6.
The Cowboys never trailed against Robert Morris (5-9), which posted a memorable win over Kentucky in the first round of last season’s NIT. But the Colonials of the Northeast Conference haven’t fared as well against major-conference foes this season, falling first at Kentucky before losing to Oklahoma State.
Karvel Anderson scored 16 points for Robert Morris, which is 2-8 on the road this season. The Colonials, who entered the game shooting 40.8 percent from 3-point range, finished 6 of 25 (24 percent) from behind the arc.
Oklahoma State shot 57 percent, helped in good part by 11 dunks, six of those by Brown, who went 7 of 14 from the field. The Cowboys had 27 assists on 32 baskets.
Robert Morris missed its first four shots and Oklahoma State sprinted to a 9-0 lead, with Marcus Smart scoring or assisting on the Cowboys’ first three baskets. The Cowboys built a 15-point advantage before Robert Morris rallied within 35-27 on a basket by Anderson with 3:48 left in the first half.
Oklahoma State went on an 11-2 run to rebuild its lead to 46-31 by halftime, despite playing much of the half without Smart (due to foul trouble) and starting center Michael Cobbins, who hobbled off the floor 3½ minutes into the game and never returned.
After Anderson opened the second half with a basket, the Cowboys had three dunks in a 13-3 run, punctuated by a windmill slam by Brown to cap a length-of-the-court fast break during which the basketball touched the ground only once. That built the Cowboys’ lead to 59-36 with 14:53 left.
Smart scored a season-low seven points. He went more than 28 minutes without scoring but he ended that drought with a memorable basket, catching an alley-oop pass from Stevie Clark and throwing down a two-handed reverse dunk. That started a 13-2 run by the Cowboys that put them up 79-52 with 6:57 left and ended all doubt.
Brian Williams scored 12 points for Oklahoma State, while Kamari Murphy had 10 and Clark finished with nine points and nine assists. Anthony Myers-Pate added 10 points for Robert Morris.
Oklahoma State moved to 7-2 all-time against current Northeast Conference teams, although all but three of those games were played in the 1940s. Before Monday, the Cowboys’ last game against a Northeast Conference foe was in January 1989, when they beat Central Connecticut State.