If ever there were a dunk worthy of an ejection for trash talking, Markel Brown's alley-oop Wednesday night against Missouri may have been it.
Oklahoma State point guard Keiton Page throws a long-distance lob pass to Brown, who catches it one-handed behind his head and emphatically throws it down over 6-foot-2 guard Matt Pressey. The play ignited the crowd at Gallagher-Iba Arena and helped propel struggling Oklahoma State to a 79-72 upset victory over second-ranked Missouri. The only downside to the dunk for Oklahoma State was that it resulted in a technical foul on Brown for staring down Pressey and mouthing off instead of running back down court on defense. Brown had earlier gotten a technical for a similar offense after a game-opening dunk, so the second one resulted in his ejection.
Oklahoma State did not need Brown to finish the upset, however, because highly touted freshman Le'Bryan Nash carried the Cowboys to the victory himself. Nash had 27 points on 12 of 18 shooting and Missouri sank just 4 of 19 threes, two factors that proved too much for the Tigers to overcome.
Missouri appeared to lack its usual energy and focus for stretches of this loss, perhaps the tell-tale signs of a letdown following last Saturday's huge win at Baylor. It's an understandable loss in a venue the Tigers have struggled in recently, yet it's also a damaging one for Missouri's hopes of ending Kansas' run of seven straight Big 12 titles.
For Oklahoma State, Nash called this win a potential "turning point" afterward, but the question is whether it's too late. Can a 10-10 team with no relevant victories prior to this one get on a win streak and salvage a disappointing season? It's unlikely but that's the challenge the Cowboys now face.