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Smart shoves fan in loss to Texas Tech, banned 3 games


STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart has been suspended three games by the Big 12 for shoving a fan in the closing seconds of the Cowboys' loss at Texas Tech on Saturday night.

Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford announced the suspension as he spoke in support of the All-America guard Sunday.

Smart apologized for his actions prior to Ford speaking at the news conference on the Oklahoma State campus.

Ford says Smart accepts his punishment and feels terrible. Smart will miss games against Texas, Oklahoma and Baylor.

Late in Saturday night's game at Lubbock, Texas, Smart shoved Tech fan Jeff Orr with two hands after it appeared the Red Raiders fan said something to the top NBA prospect. Teammates quickly pulled Smart away as he pointed back in Orr's direction.

Marcus Smart Pushes Fan

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart shoved a fan behind the basket in the waning seconds of Texas Tech's 65-61 win over the 19th-ranked Cowboys on Saturday night.

Smart tried to block Jaye Crockett's dunk attempt from behind with 6.2 seconds to go and tumbled into the front row of the crowd. He was helped to his feet by one man but then got in the face of another fan in a black shirt.

The man appeared to say something to Smart, who then shoved him with two hands. The fan stumbled backward a bit but didn't fall.

Teammates quickly pulled an angry Smart away from the fracas, and he pointed back in the direction of the fan. Smart was called for a technical foul but was not ejected.

A unanimous selection to the preseason All-America team, Smart could face discipline from the Big 12. Texas Tech spokesman Trenten Hilburn said John Underwood, the conference's associate commissioner for basketball, said the league would review the situation.

"I didn't see it yet. I want to make sure I see it and see what happened," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said after the game. "I'm still trying to figure it out."

No Cowboys players were made available to reporters after the game.

Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said he turned away from the play and didn't see the altercation.

"You really have to find the film to see what happened," he said. "I assume the officials saw what happened. That's why he got a technical out of it. The frustration when you're losing sometimes on a losing streak, I've been there before, it can be tough. I'm sure he regrets doing that, whatever he did, so things like that happen in the heat of the battle."

Crockett scored 21 points and tied his season high with 12 rebounds to lead Texas Tech, which handed the Cowboys (16-7, 4-6 Big 12) their fourth straight loss.

The fan Smart shoved is Jeff Orr, who travels thousands of miles each year to attend Texas Tech basketball games, according to athletic department spokesman Blayne Beal.

Fans nearby looked stunned - one wide-eyed woman next to Orr covered her mouth and pointed at Smart as he was pulled away.

Smart scored 22 points and Phil Forte had 15 to lead the Cowboys.

The game was tied at 61 when Crockett hit the go-ahead shot with 41 seconds remaining. Oklahoma State's Le'Bryan Nash lost the ball in the lane, and Crockett raced toward the basket at the other end.

Smart knocked the ball away and was called for a foul, then pushed the fan and drew the technical. Dusty Hannahs and Crockett each made one of two free throws for the final margin.

The Red Raiders (12-11, 4-6) earned their second win over a Top 25 team in the past month. They beat then-No. 12 Baylor in January.

The game was tied 13 times and the lead changed 12 times as each team put together runs throughout the game.

Texas Tech dominated inside, getting 32 points in the paint to 22 for the Cowboys.

Smart has had some inconsistent stretches this season, but is considered one of the best all-around players in the country.

The sophomore guard had a fantastic start to the season, leading to speculation that he could be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft this year. He has struggled at times lately, though, including a four-point game against West Virginia that led to him apologizing to his teammates afterward.

The victory gave the Red Raiders as many Big 12 wins this season as they had the past two years combined.

None of Texas Tech's players had ever played before a sellout crowd at home. The last two at United Spirit Arena came in January 2007, including New Year's Day when former Red Raiders coach Bob Knight got his 880th win to become the winningest coach in Division I.

The Cowboys used a 17-7 run to open the second half, including two 3-pointers from Forte, five points from Nash and six from Smart, to go up 44-36. But the Red Raiders didn't buckle. They used a 9-2 run on baskets by Kader Tapsoba, Randy Onwuasor and Crockett, and a 3-pointer by Onwuasor, to pull to 46-45 with 11:14 remaining.

Texas Tech went up 51-48 on a 3 by Crockett right before Kamari Murphy picked up his fourth foul with 7:47 left.

The Cowboys answered, getting buckets from Smart, Murphy and Forte and culminating with a 3 from Smart to go up 57-54 with 4:31 remaining.

Crockett quickly tied at 57 it with a 3.

The Cowboys struggled early, hitting just one field goal in 11 tries. But Oklahoma State used a 10-0 run, including a dunk by Nash, layups by Smart and Markel Brown and a 3-pointer by Forte, to go up 14-10.

The Red Raiders answered with a 9-2 run that included four points from Crockett and three from Toddrick Gotcher, and an 8-2 run in the final 1:29 of the half to lead 29-27.

Oklahoma State's point total for the half was a season low.

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Jess and Darlene February 10 2014 at 12:26 PM

This stuff has been going on in Football and Basketball for years. This just happen to be seen
by TV viwers. Players can do what they want. Look at Ohio State, they fired the football coach
because the players were doing something wrong and he was the best coach they ever had.

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Walt February 10 2014 at 12:14 PM


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vsel3 February 10 2014 at 1:06 AM

The n word ain't nuthin. Ever watch Katt Williams? The only thing he can say is the n word. That is just an excuse to make things ugly, and is used regularly.

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dixiedare@verizon.net February 10 2014 at 1:05 AM

I think he should have been called the C word "Chicken." Any young player hitting a fan (period...) should not be playing. He had to say something to cover up being a coward, so he used 'he called me the 'N' word." Now, truthfully, did the fan have time to say it after recovering from a fall...I'm glad that wasn't my dad he shoved or he'd be B&B - black and blue!

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gonro2 February 10 2014 at 1:05 AM

Lubbock is redneck country...it is obvious the media is refraining from telling all the story or really asking what Orr said.

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theabros February 10 2014 at 12:49 AM

As a 52 yr. old white male from connecticut, I think the fan should be banned from atending any future games., and certainly owes this young player an apology. people think that because they pay the price of admission they have the right to say WHATEVER they want to players. WRONG!

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2 replies to theabros's comment
waltgekko February 10 2014 at 1:02 AM

As said in my other comment, I would not have suspended Smart at all, and I would have banned Orr from ALL events involving ANY Big 12 school for at least 10 years. If Oklahoma State does not make the NCAA Tournament, I would not be surprised if Orr is considered why and he is sued over this.

Big 12 was in a tough spot because if you don't suspend Smart, you are opening it to unintended consequences if that happened even if that was correct.

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dixiedare@verizon.net February 10 2014 at 1:06 AM

Theabros, you've got to be kidding/ha!

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Jason February 10 2014 at 12:37 AM

The fan is a racist, you can see him say get out of here N***** you suck!

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1 reply to Jason's comment
Jason February 10 2014 at 12:39 AM

He called him the N word Duh! Thats what Started
Never saw a Player push a fan because he said you suck or was rooting for him or the other team!

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waltgekko February 10 2014 at 12:35 AM

In this case, Smart should NOT have been suspended at all, especially given Orr apparently used one of the "magic words" and was clearly provoked. While I don't condone players going into the stands one bit, as I would have made clear if I were Big 12 Commissioner, I would have said "what do you expect?", as Smart was clearly provoked if that was the case.

What I would have done was instead put it entirely on Orr and barred him from ALL events involving ANY Big 12 school(s) (home, away or neutral court), including non-conference road games where any such game has the stipulation where the home team is not permitted in any way to allow him into the building and the same with neutral site events (excluding the NCAA Tournament unless the NCAA decides to honor the ban) for a period of at least 10 YEARS. I put the blame entirely on Orr for this one, as he should have known what the blowback was going to be from this.

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jpkawk February 10 2014 at 12:30 AM

you can't take the hood outta the of a guy that doesn't want to give it up for his family or his future!

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Walt February 10 2014 at 12:15 PM


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loser1leo February 10 2014 at 12:28 AM

Fans so called use the players as verbal punching bags,seem to get off on doing it What was said no doubt a race remark. The player should not acted as he did, self control. I am white played sports in school, all i looked for was a nice girl in the stands

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