By JOHN TRANCHINA, Associated Press
STILLWATER (AP) — Kendall Smith looked a lot more comfortable in his second game.
Smith, a grad transfer from Cal State Northridge, scored 19 points – 17 in the first half – and Tavarius Shine had a career-high 17 points to lead Oklahoma State to an 83-65 victory over Charlotte Monday night, despite missing its best player.
Smith had five of his six rebounds in the first half, along with three assists, for Oklahoma State (2-0), which had five players hit double-digit scoring for the second straight game.
“Being a new member of any team, you kind of want to take a back seat until things are developed,” said Smith, who shot 3 of 11 and wound up scoring 10 points, along with eight assists and three steals, in his OSU debut on Friday. “The first game, (I was) just trying to find my rhythm, trying to find my flow, and it was a little bit difficult. Today I was a little bit more aggressive and kind of found my shot early.”
Andrien White scored 18 points and Jon Davis contributed 15 points – 11 in the first half – and a game-high seven rebounds for Charlotte (1-1).
“I felt like we got some good looks early in the game. Unfortunately we just didn’t make shots tonight,” said Charlotte coach Mark Price, a former four-time NBA all-star who is from nearby Enid, and received a nice cheer when introduced. “Obviously, that’s some on us, that’s a lot of credit to Oklahoma State as well, the pressure that they put.”
Oklahoma State’s stifling defensive style limited the 49ers to just 34.6 percent shooting (18 of 52), including just 26.1 percent in the opening half (6 of 23).
Friday, in their season opener, the Cowboys held Pepperdine to just 28.3 percent shooting (13 for 46), including 18.8 percent (3 for 16) from 3-point range.
“I just need everybody to be dialed in to being as good as we can defensively,” said OSU first-year coach Mike Boynton. “That’s what we control the most. We don’t control whether the ball goes in the basket. We want to take them out of rhythm, we want to take them out of what they practice every day, and we did that.”
Oklahoma State played its second straight game without junior guard Jeffrey Carroll, who was again held out of the lineup “pending the ongoing review of the men’s basketball program.”
There’s no word on how long the investigative process may take and, consequently, how long he’ll be out of the lineup. “No update as of now,” Boynton said. “As we learn more, we’ll tell you.”
Charlotte: Despite shooting just 2 of 11 from the floor, Davis made 11 of 12 free throws and still represented a major bright spot for the 49ers, helping them control the pace of play when he had the ball. With 11 points at halftime, he became the 27th player in Charlotte history to hit the 1,000-point mark, and was the fifth-fastest, needing just 65 games to reach the milestone.
Oklahoma State: Smith looked like an elite player. He’d already surpassed his opening-game totals in points and rebounds well before halftime and simply controlled the floor when he was out there, especially during the first half. He played just nine minutes in the second half, leaving with a stiff back.
“It just shows you the character and the type of kid he is,” Boynton said of Smith. “The other night, he didn’t have his shot so he found a way to get eight assists and still be a factor that way. Tonight, he did have his shot and he showed the ability to score for us. He brings a lot of versatility and leadership to our team.”
Charlotte trailed just 9-6 when White sank a 10-foot jumper 3:58 into the contest, but Oklahoma State reeled off a 21-2 run over the next seven minutes to take control. The 49ers hit just 1 of 8 shots from the floor during that time frame, as the Cowboys built up a 22-point lead, eventually taking a 47-26 advantage into halftime. Oklahoma State’s cushion never shrank below 17 points the rest of the way.
Oklahoma State guard Lindy Waters, who led Oklahoma State with a career-high 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds in Friday’s opener, wound up with just two points, along with five rebounds and five assists. . OSU junior guard Davon Dillard, who averaged 5.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 13 minutes per game last season, sat out his second straight contest for “failure to meet team standards.” . Charlotte freshman forward Milos Supica, who scored 18 points and had three rebounds in just 13 minutes during the 49ers’ season-opening 116-76 win over Methodist on Friday, played 12 minutes and had five points with one rebound and two assists.
Charlotte: The 49ers return home to take on the College of Charleston on Saturday.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys remain home for the third straight game, hosting Oral Roberts on Thursday night.
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