STILLWATER — Markel Brown takes his dunks seriously. So when he ranked Saturday's latest highlight throwdown – a two-handed windmill jam – as his favorite in a long-running series of personal pleasures, it had to be good.
“It's my No. 1 right now,” Brown said. “That's definitely the first time I've ever done that dunk in a game. I've been working on it lately in practice. I've been waiting to pull that one out.”
The Cowboys seemingly were waiting, too, kind of scuffling through much of the first half against Texas, until Brown's breakaway slam, which featured him swinging the ball down to his waist, then back up and down with force, energized the team and the crowd.
The dunk gave OSU its first lead and sparked a surge to halftime and beyond, as the Cowboys ran away from the Longhorns, winning 78-65 before an estimated 10,000 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“After that it gave us a lot of momentum,” Brown said. “I think the guys picked up the defensive intensity. The dunk got them fired up, so it's a good thing.”
The Cowboys used that energy and developed more with a half-court trapping defense that produced five turnovers over the final five minutes of the first half, turning what once was an eight-point deficit into an 11-2 run and a 37-31 halftime lead.
OSU kept the pressure on after intermission, growing its lead to as much as 19, 65-64, on the way to a third straight win that puts the Cowboys at 22-6 overall and 12-4 in the Big 12.
“We made them turn the ball over and we got out on the break,” said OSU's Le'Bryan Nash. “We shut them down. We held them down and we went on a spurt.
“We love doing our press. I think we're the most athletic team in the Big 12, so we have to show it sometimes by pressing. And we love turning people over and converting them into easy baskets. When you're doing that, it just makes your job that much easier on offense.”
Brown added six rebounds, three assists and the afternoon's other highlight – a circus shot on a running rainbow shot that went over the backboard and in. Le'Bryan Nash had 16, Phil Forte 14 and Marcus Smart 11 for the Cowboys.