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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Dunk of the year candidate: Oklahoma State’s Markel Brown

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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.

[Related video: Wizards' JaVale McGee benched for showboat dunk]

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.

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