Markel Brown Leads OSU To Win Over Texas Tech

Markel Brown Leads OSU To Win Over Texas Tech

STILLWATER, OKLA. -- The Cowboys were up by double digits early in the second half. The game was all but won. Oklahoma State would hand Texas Tech its fourth straight Big 12 loss. But Markel Brown was still shooting, and doing it well.

He fist pumped after a 3-pointer that clanged off the rim and in, and followed minutes later with another deep jump shot. He finished with a game-high 21 points, en route to a 79-45 OSU victory.

"I'm just playing, and my teammates are getting me in position to make good plays," Brown said. "Defense leading to offense for me and just getting into a rhythm out here with these guys."

Two seasons ago, Brown's outside jump shot might have been a punch line. He was just a freshman high-flyer back then. Today, he's the most experienced player on the Cowboys' roster, leading the team in points and shooting more than 80 percent from the foul line.

But don't think he's lost that high flying ability. With 16:11 left in the second half, he took the ball off the dribble to the baseline and elevated over a Tech defender. It brought Gallager-Iba to its feet and sparked the Cowboys to a 37-19 run to close it out.

"It felt great," Brown said. "It's been a minute since I got one of those (dunks). It was kind of good to spark the team and get the team back going. I'm looking forward to making more plays like that to get the team playing like we played tonight."

The Cowboys (12-4, 2-2) were consistent in nearly all phases on Saturday. Early foul trouble kept freshman guard Marcus Smart and Michael Cobbins off the court for the majority of the first half, but the Cowboy reserves and role players stepped up.

Freshman guard Phil Forte went 4-of-7 from the 3-point line, and led OSU in scoring at the half on his way to 19 points. OSU center Phillip Jurick led all rebounders with 11 and added six points.

The Cowboys held TTU (8-8, 1-4) to 28.3 percent shooting from the floor. Head coach Travis Ford attributed that success to a week of extreme practices. The Cowboys were on the floor as early as 6 a.m. on some days.

"I liked our intensity level," Ford said. "I liked what guys carried over in practice as far as the identity of our defense and what we want it to look like, what we want it to be … That's great for today. I told our team, ‘This is who you need to be. This is who you should be.'"

But it all started with Brown. Ford is banking on his leadership moving forward, especially when the Cowboys hit the heart of a difficult Big 12 schedule.

"I thought he played a terrific game, just looking across his stat line," Ford said. "I liked his shot selection. I like where he got his shots. And for him to get six assists and no turnovers, it was good to see. Very good to see."

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NOTES:

Foul trouble: For the second-consecutive game, Marcus Smart sat on the bench for the majority of the first half with two fouls. Michael Cobbins also saw limited minutes in the first half with two fouls.

"(Smart) is getting one or two a game that he just shouldn't get," Ford said. "He's an aggressive, physical player. That's who he is. There are good fouls and bad fouls. He's picking up a couple that probably don't need to be gotten. Hopefully we can learn from that."

Soucek returns: Marek Soucek made his first appearance in Big 12 play after suffering a right knee sprain.

"He's doing good," Ford said. "I wasn't going to put him in, just because I didn't know if he was fully ready. I didn't want to make him look bad … He was ready to roll. I loved his physicality."

Big Monday vs. Baylor: There's no time to relish in this victory. The Cowboys face a talented young Baylor team in Waco for ESPN's Big Monday.

"We'll take off tomorrow, practice before, and head to Waco," Forte said. "We'll just have to forget about this one, because we'll have our hands full with Baylor. It will be a tough road game that we will have to find a way to win. Everyone will have to be committed and focused going into that game."

KEY NUMBER: 43 – Cowboy rebounds, 17 more than the Red Raiders.

UP NEXT: Baylor
The Cowboys travel to Baylor (12-5, 3-1) at 4:30 p.m. Monday. / TV: ESPN / RADIO: KSPI 93.7 FM

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