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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, Published: January 25, 2012

— Keiton Page laid out a dream scenario for the Cowboys, referencing Oklahoma State's 2010 upset of No. 1 Kansas that set off a storm-the-court celebration inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The Kid Cowboys listened up — and ate it up — with eyes wide.

Wednesday night they experienced it, knocking off No. 2-ranked Missouri 79-72, then celebrating on the floor with students and more, all soaking up an unlikely upset.

“I want to do it again,” said OSU freshman Brian Williams, who scored a career-high 22 points.

Page painted the scene, and played his part, scoring 12 points and handing out five assists. But it was the Cowboys' freshmen who made it happen.

Le'Bryan Nash struck for a career-high 27 points, leading all scorers and finishing just two shy of the school freshman single-game scoring record. Williams, along with his scoring, hounded Tigers leading scorer Marcus Denmon into a 4-of-16 shooting night. And forward Michael Cobbins blocked three shots, produced four steals and grabbed a team-high 10 boards, helping the Cowboys out-rebound Mizzou 32-31. Clearly, the kids were all right. OK, more than all right.

OSU improved to 10-10, overall and 3-4 in the Big 12. The Tigers, after winning a top-five showdown at Baylor Saturday, fell to 18-2 and 5-2. It was the Cowboys' first win over a team ranked so high since that Kansas game two years ago.

“I think we saw this game as an opportunity,” Page said, “I think we saw it like the Kansas game. A lot of them came and asked me what it was like. And a lot of them wanted to know what it was like when the students come running on the floor, which my (experience) is a lot different than them, I'm 5-9, it kind of swarms me. They can breathe.

“So I told them, ‘It's going to feel different for y'all, so, LB do something about it, so we can experience that and you can know what it's like.' “And that's exactly what he did, he made it happen tonight.”

Nash, the touted recruit from Dallas, played his best game as a Cowboy, making 12-of-18 shots from the floor, including 3-of-4 tries from 3-point range. His 27 points were just two shy of the OSU freshman record held by Byron Houston, James Anderson and Cezar Guerrero. Williams made 6-of-11 shots from the floor and 10-of-11 from the foul line.

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.

Wednesday's box score: OSU 79, Missori 72

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