Cold-shooting Cowboys fall to Baylor in Waco
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
1/22/13 at 7:17 AM
Eric Bailey's Big 12 Insider
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WACO, Texas - On the day Le'Bryan Nash got hot, his Oklahoma State teammates went cold.
Poor shooting doomed the Cowboys against Baylor on Monday afternoon, resulting in a 64-54 loss at the Ferrell Center.
"We never caught rhythm, and at no point did we get on a roll offensively to give us momentum, to give us that kick," a visibly frustrated coach Travis Ford said.
While Nash had a season-high 24 points - 11 more than he has scored in Big 12 play this season - six of the other eight OSU players who saw action combined for three field goals.
"We got (the looks) we wanted to get," point guard Marcus Smart said. "It's just that we fumbled a couple of balls and missed some easy layups that we usually finish. ... Our offense just wasn't to the point that it normally is."
Leading scorer Markel Brown, who entered the game on a streak of 12 straight double-digit outings, had two points. Typically lights-out sharpshooter Phil Forte hit two shots, and for only the second time this season didn't drain a 3-pointer.
"It's definitely uncharacteristic," Smart said. "Markel's a great shooter. Phil's a great shooter.
"It just wasn't their night tonight, and they just couldn't find a rhythm."
As a team, it wasn't pretty, particularly from 3-point range. After Smart opened the game with a trey, the Cowboys missed their next 12 attempts behind the arc.
In the meantime, the Bears (13-5 overall, 4-1 Big 12) built a 10-point cushion behind easy baskets from big men Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin.
Once Nash overcame some initial struggles, he paced OSU on a 14-5 run to end the first half and take a 28-27 advantage into halftime.
That lead was short-lived, and the Cowboys (12-5, 2-3) were again down double digits after Big 12 top scorer Pierre Jackson delivered eight straight points for Baylor within a span of 83 seconds.
Because its guards weren't knocking much down, OSU tried to go inside, with little success. Jefferson and Austin swatted away shot after shot, and tied a Big 12 record with 11 blocks.
"Defensively, we just wanted to protect the rim," Jefferson said. "I feel like (we) are some of the best shot-blockers in the Big 12, and we wanted to come out and let everyone know that."
The Cowboys' only other 3-pointer of the game came from Smart with 6:29 left, and then Nash hit a layup to cut the deficit to six.
But a couple of key baskets - a dunk from Jefferson and a 3-pointer from Jackson - put the game out of reach.
"They just hit those shots that we usually lock down and don't let them hit," Smart said. "They came up with those big plays at the end."
Big 12 standings
West Virginia .......1-3
Texas Tech .......1-4
BY THE NUMBERS
Shooting for OSU’s
Shooting for OSU’s
OSU shots blocked
by Baylor defenders
OSU up next:
vs. West Virginia
Radio: KFAQ am1170
Original Print Headline: Cold night in Waco
Kelly Hines 918-581-8452
Baylor's Cory Jefferson scores over OSU's Michael Cobbins during the second half on Monday. Jefferson finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks. ROD AYDELOTTE / Waco Tribune Herald / Associated Press
OSU's Le'Bryan Nash drives past Baylor's Cory Jefferson during the first half on Monday. ROD AYDELOTTE / Waco Tribune Herald / AP