All of a sudden, Missouri’s NCAA Tournament hopes just got a whole lot brighter. The Tigers, who had trouble beating teams on the road and ranked teams anywhere, did both on Saturday. Mizzou upset 18 th -ranked Oklahoma State 75-64 in Stillwater – a place the Pokes hadn’t lost in the last 17 games.
Now the Tigers have that much-needed "impressive" win so many teams on the bubble boast about to get in the Big Dance. Having a road victory against a top-25 team sure looks good to the Tournament Selection Committee. Not to mention, Missouri has won two in a row, and three of its last four. They have four games remaining on the schedule before the Big 12 Tournament. Oklahoma comes to Columbia on Tuesday, and then MU travels to struggling Nebraska before hosting Colorado and visiting Texas A&M. Beating the Aggies on the road would be monumental to Missouri’s case, but realistically, winning three of those games would leave the Tigers 8-8 in the conference heading into the postseason. If they can pull off a win or two in the Big 12 Tourney, MU could be dancing come March.
Freshman Keon Lawrence continues to step up for the Tigers. He scored a game-high 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 2-for-3 from behind the arc. Lawrence also added eight rebounds and two steals.
"He’s a hard matchup, especially when you talk about up-tempo basketball," Mizzou coach Mike Anderson said about Lawrence. "He was made to play, I think, attack basketball and it was really on display."
Mizzou is 3-1 since Lawrence was placed in the starting lineup. It was the first win over a ranked opponent for Missouri under Anderson.
Matt Lawrence scored 15 for the Tigers and Marshall Brown added 12.
The Pokes have lost four of their last five and don’t have a road victory this season. Despite being ranked in the top-25, their tournament dreams could be dwindling.
"Right now, we’re struggling," OSU forward Mari Boggan said. "We’re trying to fight to get in. We need some wins. Right now, we look at it as we’re not in there."
Boggan and JamesOn Curry each scored 16 points for the Cowboys. Kenny Cooper added 10 off the bench.