December 8, 2007

Tigers find strength from unlikely source

With just under eight minutes left, Missouri trailed 59-49. The Tigers had scored a total of five points in the second half. They had blown a double-digit lead. And then Marshall Brown went off.

"He got in the huddle," Carroll said. "He didn't even let coach speak."

"He was like, 'Man, you all are playing like some punks. We aren't sharing the basketball. You just aren't doing nothing right,'" Keon Lawrence recalled. "It touched everybody. It touched me in my heart. I was like, 'Man, he must really be into it as our captain.' We needed it."

Perhaps it was fitting, then, on a day when Anderson called these Tigers "the ultimate team" that the inspiration came from a player that played only three minutes; a guy who would not have had any proof he had played were it not for one rebound, one missed free throw and a personal foul, the only Tiger to see action and not score a point. Perhaps the biggest statement is that it was that guy who willed the Tigers to a win they simply had to have.

"It shows how unselfish our team is," Horton said. "He got emotional. He got a little teary-eyed. It was how he said it."

"It shows how much of a team player he is. He just wants to win," Keon Lawrence said. "My body's still heated up from him saying that."

How long will the effect of Brown's words last? Missouri is off until next Saturday, when the Tigers host McNeese State.

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