Stillwater News Press

College Sports

March 2, 2014

Orange Prattle: Brown wills Cowboys to needed win over Kansas

STILLWATER, Okla. — Markel Brown has been the most consistent player for the Oklahoma State University men’s team this year. Nobody has even come close.

And with the wear and tear of the season catching up with the Cowboys, it has been time for the rest of his teammates to help him. He got that from Marcus Smart, with a little help from the senior guard.

It’s easy to look at the 20 second-half points scored by Smart — getting most of his points once he stopped jacking up 3-pointers as he finished 2 of 7 from long range. But with Oklahoma State seeing its season slowly slipping away against Big 12 Conference power Kansas, Brown did as he’s done all season.

First came the big 3-pointers. The senior from Alexandria, La., knocked down a pair to propel the Pokes back into the game.

Then came the play that Oklahoma State fans have become all too familiar with during Brown’s four years in Stillwater — the alley-oop.

He injected a shot of energy back into the arena by slamming home a pass from Smart —who until that point in the game had been more concerned about shooting than passing before figuring it out in the second half.

“It just felt so good, we got the crowd back into it and it just got so loud in the gym that I don’t think they could stand it,” Brown said.

Brown finished with 21 points, tying Smart for the top scoring performance, with 12 points coming in the all-important second half. He also finished with four assists, which trailed Smart’s game-high five assists.

He had a high percentage night from the floor — going 4 of 7 from the field and 3 of 5 from 3-point range — and knocked down all 10 of his free throws.

Brown has done it all year — failing to reach double digit scoring in just three games — and if Oklahoma State reaches the NCAA tournament, it will be because of him.

“I just went out there and did anything I could to help my team. I wasn’t going out there worrying about taking shots — I only took seven on the night,” Brown said. “I just wanted to go out there and have fun with my team. I only had two more games in Gallagher-Iba, and I just wanted to go out with a bang.”

Smart may bring the star power, but Brown brings everything else — the energy, the leadership, the consistency. This is Brown’s team. Nobody else comes close.

Jason Elmquist is sports editor of The Stillwater News Press. He can be contacted at jelmquist@stwnewspress.com.

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