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Brown Leads Cowboys Over Longhorns

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Texas entered Saturday's contest riding high and appeared to be upset minded again after jumping out to an early lead on the Cowboys.

Markel Brown was having none of that.

The Cowboys' junior guard set the tone and propelled No. 15 Oklahoma State to a 78-65 victory against the Longhorns in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Brown led the Pokes with 18 points on 4-of-11 shooting but it wasn't necessarily how well he shot as much as it was the impact of the shots he made.

He kept the Cowboys (22-6, 12-4 Big 12) afloat early from the foul line and with a 3-pointer but it was one dunk in particular that gave the team the spark it needed. With OSU in the process of digging out of an early 15-7 hole, the Cowboys had pulled the game to within one when Kirby Gardner collected a steal and fed the ball ahead to Brown.

The Louisiana native was set up for an easy transition finish but be decided to add a little extra flare, showing off his elite athleticism with an acrobatic windmill jam that sent GIA into hysterics.

And it sent the Cowboys in the right direction.

The dunk gave OSU its first lead of the game and the Pokes would then go on a 24-11 spanning the end of the first half and first six minutes of the second to take an authoritative lead at home.

OSU's lead even swelled to as many as 19 points when Brown chipped in another highlight-reel play, shooting a high-arching rainbow over the top of the backboard that ripped through the net as he fell out of bounds on an and-1 play.

But the Pokes were more than aware of how unsafe a lead can be against the Longhorns. Texas (13-16, 5-11) overcame a 22-point deficit on Wednesday to eventually upset OU in overtime.

Texas' comeback against the Sooners was sparked by a relentless full-court press and a tour de force offensive performance from Myck Kabongo.

This is where Marcus Smart comes in to play. Smart and the Cowboys guards handled the UT press fine but Smart handled Kabongo even better. It wasn't the best offensive performance the freshman has had in Stillwater with 11 points and two assists but it very well could have been his top defensive effort to date.

Kabongo dropped 31 points on the Sooners on Wednesday but Smart shut him down completely in Stillwater. Kabongo finished with seven points on 2-of-7 shooting but four of those points came in desperation time in the game's final two minutes. Smart also forced him into seven turnovers.

Le'Bryan Nash responded nicely from his 28-point outing against TCU with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and Phil Forte re-discovered his shooting touch with 14 points, including a 4-for-7 showing from the 3-point line.

The Cowboys shot 51 percent as a team while holding the Longhorns to just 39 percent shooting. OSU outrebounded the ‘Horns 31-30 and both teams had 18 turnovers but OSU's biggest advantage came from the foul line.

OSU's attacking trio of Smart, Brown and Nash made a living at the free-throw line where OSU converted 25-of-32 opportunities compared to just 8-of-11 for Texas.

It was the Cowboys' third-straight win and OSU will head back on the road for the final time this regular season on Wednesday when it plays Iowa State in Hilton Coliseum at 6 p.m.

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