What Can Brown Do For OSU?

Anthony Brown's stat line will not impress people across the nation who did not see Oklahoma State's 71-70 victory over seventh-ranked Oklahoma in the third meeting between the Bedlam rivals this season. It wasn't about how many points (four) or rebounds (four) that Brown had in Thursday's quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Championships. It was about keeping the ball away from Blake Griffin.

The 6-foot-8 Brown, who played just 11 minutes in Oklahoma's 82-78 win over OSU this past Saturday, spent much of the evening guarding the nation's best player, and limited him to just nine shots. Griffin finished with 17 points (and 19 rebounds) to lead the Sooners, but that's nowhere near the 26 he scored on the Cowboys in OU's 89-81 victory in Stillwater on Jan. 26 or the 33 points that he had in the victory in Norman.

Brown played a season-high 29 minutes Thursday night, and with the help of his teammates did not allow Griffin to score a basket in the game's final eight minutes.

"You can look at a lot of different stats tonight ... but one of the biggest keys to this game was Anthony Brown's defense on the best player in the country," said Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford. "Anthony just worked and worked. He was giving up a few inches but he used his athleticism and did his strength, and he did a tremendous job every possession of doing the best he could.

"We told him, you're not going to stop him every time, and don't get discouraged when he does score every once in a while, but let's try to limit his touches and try not to let him get on a roll. I thought he did a terrific job of doing that."

Brown's teammates noticed Brown's contributions, especially with Marshall Moses fouling out with no points and just one rebound after playing just eight minutes.

"Anthony Brown played great," said Obi Muonelo. "He played real aggressive. He was strong, he was confident. We looked on tape this morning and we noticed in both games (against OU earlier this season) that he was the difference maker on Blake. We knew what he got in the game that he would definitely make a difference.

Brown said, "All that was going through my mind was I didn't want to get dunked on. I just tried to front him and knew that I'd have weakside help from the four man. He's very strong but I have the body to go up against him. I could tell he was uncomfortable the whole night, and that's what I wanted."

The Cowboys improve to 22-10 on the season and advance to play in the Big 12 tournament semifinals on Friday night thanks to the victory, which came compliments of James Anderson's two free throws with 2.3 seconds remaining in the game.

Anderson, who had 37 points against the Sooners five days ago, scored just nine points in the game's first 39 minutes. But his rebound of Byron Eaton's miss, and the foul by Blake Griffin on Anderson's putback led to the game-winning points from the free-throw line.

"We told him he wasn't going to score 37 again. That wasn't going to happen," Ford said of Anderson. "One of the things we told the team tonight was that we needed everybody to make special plays – a charge, a rebound that maybe you shouldn't have gotten, something extraordinary. I thought everybody did that. I thought that's what James did tonight. He maybe wasn't scoring points but he was doing other things, other special things that helped us win."

Ford was impressed with the Cowboys, who have now won eight of their last nine dating back to Feb. 10.

"Wow, our team played so hard tonight," said the Cowboys' first-year head coach. "I don't know what (this win) means from this point on but what it means is that our team has come a long way. They've grown up so much the last two months.

"I don't know if anybody two or three months ago would have thought could have even been in the same gym with Oklahoma. I've got an incredible amount of respect for their team. They're one of the best teams in the country. We just made the plays tonight. We made the plays when we needed to, and we haven't done that the last couple of times against Oklahoma."

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