Phil Forte hit all three free throws after getting fouled while attempting a 3-pointer with 52 seconds left in overtime and Oklahoma State beat Akron 69-65 in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tipoff on Thursday.
Forte, who was fouled by Chauncey Gilliam, drained the free throws to put the Cowboys up 67-65. He had scored OSU's only points of the OT period when he connected on a three-pointer to cut the Zips' lead to one. Marcus Smart made two more free throws to complete the scoring.
Oklahoma State, which led by as many as 10 with nine minutes remaining in regulation, allowed the Zips to go on an 18-8 run, tying the game on a layup-and-one by Zeke Marshall with one minute remaining. However, the Akron center missed the free throw, giving OSU an opportunity for the win. Three misses in the final 30 seconds by the Cowboys, and a wild shot attempt by Marshall at the buzzer sent the game into overtime.
Smart finished with 14 points, Le'Bryan Nash had 20 and Markel Brown 15 for Oklahoma State. Smart also had nine rebounds, four steals and three assists. Brian Walsh had 14 points for Akron (1-2), which failed to convert on the final possession of regulation with the score tied at 61.
Oklahoma State (2-0) will face Tennessee in the winner's bracket at 11:30 am local time (9:30 am CT) in a game televised on ESPNU. The Volunteers defeated UNC-Asheville 75-68 on Thursday.