BAYAMON, Puerto Rico — Marcus Smart and Le’Bryan Nash scored 17 points each as Oklahoma State beat Tennessee 62-45 on Friday to move into the championship game at the Puerto Rico Tipoff.
Smart, who also had nine rebounds, scored on a pair of layups and a 3-pointer during an 11-4 Cowboy run in the second half that put the game out of reach at 54-35 with under eight minutes to play.
“Our game plan was to stop them inside,” Nash said. “We executed pretty well and made them take shots that didn’t fall for them.”
Markel Brown had 13 points for Oklahoma State (3-0).
“When you play defense and rebound the way we did, you give yourself a chance to win. We hadn’t rebounded the ball that well this season until today,” said Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford, whose Cowboys outrebounded the Volunteers 40-30. “For us to be able to compete as we did against a physical team like they are, was impressive.”
Trae Golden finished with 11 points for Tennessee (2-1). “We have to bring physicality every night,” said Tennessee forward D’Montre Edwards. “We just have to get those shots to fall.”
The matchups for Sunday’s final and third-place games were to be determined later Friday by the outcome of No. 6 North Carolina State’s game against UMass.