Marcus Smart and Le'Bryan Nash scored 17 points each as Oklahoma State defeated Tennessee 62-45 on Friday to move into the championship game at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Smart, who also had nine rebounds, scored on a pair of layups and a three-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. Markel Brown added 13 and eight rebounds for Oklahoma State.
Trae Golden was the only Volunteer to reach double figures as he finished with 11 points for Tennessee. UT made the first basket, a three-pointer by Edmond, Okla.,-native Josh Richardson, and the Vols led 5-2 just two minutes in. However, a dunk by freshman Kamari Murphy gave OSU a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the game.
The Cowboys took an 11-point lead into the locker room at 30-19, and the deficit never dipped into single digits the rest of the game. OSU led by as many as 20 points with 2-1/2 minutes remaining.
Tennessee's 13 made field goals are the fewest ever allowed by a team in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. OSU improved to 3-1 all-time against the Volunteers, and will play in the championship game of an in-season tournament for the sixth time since winning the 1991 Preseason NIT.
Oklahoma State will play the winner of the NC State/UMass game on Sunday evening in the championship game at 7:30 PM local time (5:30 PM CT). That game will be televised on ESPN2.