Baylor holds off Cowboys 64-60
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Sunday, February 05, 2012
2/05/12 at 7:45 AM
Related Story: OSU basketball notebook: Missing person
STILLWATER - When Baylor and Oklahoma State shared a basketball court in Waco last month, OSU was dealt its most lopsided defeat since 1932.
In a rematch of the mismatch, the sixth-ranked Bears outscored the Cowboys "only" 64-60 Saturday at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Brian Williams wants one more crack at redemption.
"I wish we would play them one more time so we can get the win," the redshirt freshman said after scoring a career-best 23 points at the Bears' expense.
"They beat us by 41 last time and we didn't play our best ball. We didn't play our best ball tonight, but the effort was there, so I felt good about this one. I thought we would win it."
OSU (11-12 overall, 4-6 Big 12) was oh-so-close to toppling the Bears (21-2, 8-2), never mind that Philip Jurick's injury absence and Cezar Guerrero's suspension left the Cowboys with two fewer players than they had in Waco.
"When we put our five guys out there, I feel like our five guys, just like tonight, can match up with anybody in the country," Keiton Page said.
"That was proven against Missouri the other night. That was a top team in the country. Baylor is a top team in the country. We can battle with those teams, so I'm comfortable with whoever we put out there on the floor."
With Page, Williams and Michael Cobbins combining to play 119 of a possible 120 minutes, OSU twice staged comebacks.
The Cowboys dug out of a 12-point hole to tie the score early in the second half, but seven consecutive scoreless possessions followed. The Bears, sparked by two Pierre Jackson 3-pointers, pushed their lead back to nine.
Then the Cowboys launched another rally and took a 57-56 lead on a Page 3-pointer with 1:42 left.
Could OSU beat a top-10 team at home for the second time this season? Would Baylor coach Scott Drew remain 0-for-Stillwater?
The Cowboys' only lead of the game lasted 13 seconds. Jackson, who averages a Big 12-best 8.3 assists in league play, got penetration and passed the ball to Quincy Acy for an easy basket.
"That was real big to get the crowd back out of it because it got pretty loud," Acy said. "It was just a heads-up play by Pierre. Everybody knows he is the guy looking to take the big shot now. It just says a lot about him for reading the defense and dishing to the open person."
OSU failed to score on its next two possessions and was forced to foul. Bad news: The Cowboys fouled Brady Heslip, who, prior to Saturday, had missed one free throw all season.
Heslip made four consecutive free throws before OSU got a 3-pointer from Markel Brown that cut the margin to 62-60 with with 9.4 seconds left. Baylor inbounded the ball to Heslip, who was fouled and gave the Cowboys a glimmer of hope when he missed the front end of a one-and-one with 6.9 seconds left.
But Acy, the Big 12's fifth-leading rebounder, chased down a long rebound near the baseline ("I always assume a miss. You never know what will happen.") and the Bears got two clinching free throws from Anthony Jones with 2.8 seconds left to win in Gallagher-Iba Arena for the first time since 2003.
"I'm very proud of the effort our team put into it," OSU coach Travis Ford said. "We couldn't have played any harder. Our guys left it on the court. We could have made so many different excuses for this game, but our guys laid it on the line."
OSU up next
Vs. Iowa State
6 p.m. Tuesday
Radio: KFAQ am1170
Original Print Headline: Baylor holds off Cowboys
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389
Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown is defended by Baylor guard Pierre Jackson during Saturday's game. KT KING / For the Tulsa World