"We like winning," Ford said. "It's a hard way to go about it, but we've figured out how to win when I can't say we've played particularly well.
"We've just not been consistent on both ends. Luckily, we've been good on at least one end."
WVU led Oklahoma State by 13 points in the first half, but was down at halftime. Forte rescued the Cowboys with six 3s and 26 points. Iowa State then made 13 3s and shot 53.8 percent. Only five Cowboys scored, but Smart won the game with a layup with 3.1 seconds to go.
Oklahoma State ended Kansas' 18-game winning streak and 33-game home winning streak by erasing a four-point deficit in the second half with a 20-9 run. Forte, who was 1-for-8 from 3-point range, scored six of his 11 points in the final 28 seconds.
The Cowboys then gave away a 14-point lead with 7:41 to go against Baylor and survived Smart's 4-for-21 shooting and the team's 18 misses in 21 3-point attempts when Michael Cobbins blocked a shot with six seconds to go. Markel Brown won the game with a layup with two-tenths of a second left.
Texas held Oklahoma State to 37 percent shooting and forced 17 turnovers, but the Cowboys won thanks to 10 steals, a plus-12 rebounding margin and 26 free throws. After crushing Texas Tech, they had issues against Oklahoma, which shot 60 percent in the second half and only turned the ball over nine times in 45 minutes. The Cowboys had just five turnovers, though, and LeBryan Nash scored a season-high 26 points.
The win was secured and the season was explained in one sequence. Down a point with a minute to play in overtime, Nash dunked, Brown had a steal before Cobbins made a layup and Smart had a steal before making two free throws.
WVU's season is very different. The record is 2-10 when trailing at halftime and 1-11 when the deficit reaches double figures. Opponents are 6-0 when shooting 50 percent or better and 12-3 when shooting better than WVU. The Mountaineers are 3-10 when outrebounded and 4-6 when they have more turnovers. They're 6-12 when they score fewer than 70 points and 1-7 when the opponent tops 70.
The explanation, according to Coach Bob Huggins: His team doesn't consistently do what's required to have a strength cover up a weakness, to play bad and still win.
"You don't do it once in a while," he said. "You do it all the time, if you really want to win. Obviously, we don't and haven't done that."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.