Le'Bryan Nash scores 27 points as OSU upsets No. 2 Missouri

Freshmen Le'Bryan Nash and Brian Williams led the way as the Cowboys scored a big upset.
BY JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Published: January 25, 2012

As at team, the Cowboys shot 59.6 percent from the field, easily their best performance of the season; they hadn't shot better than 49 percent against any NCAA squad.

“Guys made big plays, offensively and defensively,” said OSU coach Travis Ford. “They made a lot of big plays — blocked shots, baskets, free throws. And you have to, to beat a great team like Missouri, a veteran team like Missouri.

“And we had some guys who played their best games of their career here. I doubt many people gave us a chance tonight. I doubt it.”

That chance may have seemed fleeting when the Cowboys lost starting guard Markel Brown with 6:59 remaining. Brown was ejected for picking up his second technical foul for taunting after throwing down an emphatic slam that pulled OSU within 56-53.

The Cowboys had played the Tigers even through the first half, then climbed back from Mizzou's biggest lead, 53-45, when Brown was sent to the locker room.

The Tigers turned the technical into a four-point possession and a 60-53 lead 28 seconds later.

But instead of fading, the Cowboys fought back, with Nash scoring 13 of his 27 during a 15-4 run that put OSU in front for good, punctuating the spurt with back-to-back 3-pointers.

“I just tried to get aggressive in the second half,” Nash said. “I talked to my coaches and they said, ‘You need to get more aggressive. Don't try to let the ball come to you, go get the ball.'

“My teammates got me the ball in good situations. Once it started rolling, the shots started falling, and we got better.”

Nash was there in the crowd in 2010 for the upset of Kansas, watching on as an OSU recruit.

“Seeing that happen, the rushing of the court,” Nash said, “I thought, ‘Man, I've got to be a part of that. But when I get here, we'll be winning, so we'll probably have it done to us.'

“So it's great to have that. I've been waiting on that my whole life. This is going to be one of the great memories of my life. Hopefully we can do it again against Baylor and Kansas. Again and again.”

Wednesday's box score: OSU 79, Missori 72


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