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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.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
Frank February 09 2014 at 12:16 PM

An ironic last name. Consider, he also chose to play B-ball in Oklahoma

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Melanie February 09 2014 at 7:58 AM

No matter what the fan said, Smart's reaction was totally unacceptable! Being an athlete when I was younger, my coach would have suspended one of us if we had reacted like that at any time for any reason. But then, athlete's were held accountable for their actions then, not coddled and left to do as they please like they are now. Shame on you Smart!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Lettybits February 09 2014 at 7:58 AM

No doubt he will go on to super stardome and join the ranks of those like Dennis Rodman, el al

Flag Reply +1 rate up
eileen.willard February 09 2014 at 1:21 PM

I just hope at some point we do actually learn the truth about what was said. I fear that the player will be silenced, and we will never know what this guy who has a big support group behind him as the beloved "super fan."

Flag Reply +3 rate up
gov111w February 09 2014 at 1:21 PM

I think before anyone decides anything ..you have to know exactly what transpired between the two of them.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
rraahh1 gov111w February 09 2014 at 1:38 PM

So make a list of what is or isn't aloud to be said and what entitles a player to go into the stands and assault a fan.... This isn't over yet there's a liability here and I'm sure it will be addressed next week....

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jijjhnsn February 09 2014 at 7:53 AM

Excuse for thug moniker. Did anyone notice the old man fan say something to the player first?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
msglinguist jijjhnsn February 09 2014 at 8:03 AM

Does it matter?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
itchy1958 jijjhnsn February 09 2014 at 8:04 AM

Oh no! A fan said something to him? Now that has to be a first! Smart should call his crew and give this trouble maker a serious smak down in order to defend his honor. How dare any fan try to diss a B ball player!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
sammorreale6 February 09 2014 at 7:53 AM

Marcus Smart? How about Marcus Stupid?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
itchy1958 February 09 2014 at 7:50 AM

Just another typical street thug NBA wannabe with their immature hate filled attitude. If he doesnt make in the pro ball ranks and get his marble mansion , lots of bling blang , and stupid looking rims for his fancy car to impress the hoes, then he might end up with a gig at one of the local state funded institutions.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
dssmalik February 09 2014 at 1:30 PM

They need to move the fans in the front row back.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
cdrocab dssmalik February 09 2014 at 1:53 PM

First logical remark I have seen. I never figured out why the celebrities got those game side seats where you cant really good birds eye view of the game. I guess so a player can land in their lap.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
musicwind February 09 2014 at 7:49 AM

We live in a world where it is now permissable for someone to physically attack another for something that is said-words versus fists. I don't care what was said, this player is clearly in the wrong. I fear for his future wife or girlfriend. If you think 'impulse control' is lacking here, I can only imagine what he is like off the court. Yet, basketball is big business. I'm sure nothing will happen.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
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