With the territory of the No. 2 national ranking comes a target, especially playing on the road. No. 2 Missouri learned that lesson the hard way Wednesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.
Thanks in large part to a 32-17 run over the game’s final 13 minutes, Oklahoma State (10-10, 3-4 Big 12 Conference) upset No. 2 Missouri in stunning fashion, 79-72.
Entering the game as the No. 2 team in the country, a team that has received much national attention in recent days, Missouri expected to get Oklahoma State’s best shot.
“We will get Oklahoma State’s very, very best effort, as we will every night we lace ‘em up,” Haith said of Wednesday’s matchup at media day Monday. “We have to be tough enough to be able to handle that.”
After surrendering 27 points to Baylor freshman Quincy Miller last Saturday, Missouri was once again torched by a first-year player. This time it was Cowboys guard Le’Bryan Nash, who dropped a career-high 27 points. A stretch of eight consecutive Nash points with two minutes and change remaining would prove to be too much for the Tigers.
Missouri got off to a slow start, shooting just 41 percent from the field in the first half, and trailing by one at the half. The Tigers pulled out to an eight-point lead midway through the second half, but that’s when Nash took over for the Cowboys.
Senior forward Ricardo Ratliffe led the Tigers with 25 points and 12 rebounds.