No. 1 Baylor not looking past OK State thanks to scare

NCAA Basketball
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Top-ranked Baylor keeps rolling through the daunting Big 12 Conference, and is showing little sign of slowing down.

But the Bears must be wary of Oklahoma State come Saturday afternoon in Waco, Texas, because they know how close the Cowboys came to beating them the first time the two teams played this season. The Bears won that game 75-68, rallying from 12 points down over the final nine minutes on Jan. 18.

Baylor (20-1, 9-0 Big 12) readied for the rematch with Oklahoma State with a 73-67 victory at Kansas State on Monday. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State brings a modicum of momentum into its tussle with the Bears after defeating TCU 72-57 at home on Wednesday. It was just the Cowboys’ second win in their past 10 games.

The Bears extended their school-record 19-game winning streak with the win over Kansas State It is the nation’s second-longest active streak behind San Diego State (23). Baylor has tied the best 21-game start in program history (20-1 in 2016-17).

The Baylor defense flexed its muscle early on as the Wildcats missed their first seven shots and didn’t hit their first bucket until almost 7 1/2 minutes into the game.

“I thought we got out to a great start,” Baylor coach Scott Drew told reporters. “Foul trouble kind of slowed the run down and made us change rotations. Credit K-State, they came back. They’re not going to give you the game, they’re not going to die. You have to beat them, it’s a 40-minute game.”

Jared Butler led Baylor against the Wildcats, draining 4 of his 8 3-pointers from and scoring 20 points as the Bears snapped a six-game losing skid in the series with Kansas State.

MaCio Teague scored 15 points and Davion Mitchell added 13 points and seven assists for Baylor, which is off to its best start in conference since the 1947-48 team won its first 10 games in the Southwest Conference.

The Cowboys head to Waco after what might be their best overall performance in the past month, stifling TCU over the middle part of the second half then making the plays needed in the stretch to earn their first win in Big 12 play.

Oklahoma State used a 19-2 run to sweep to a 59-45 lead as the Horned Frogs missed seven straight shots, went more than six minutes without a point and went 10:09 of the second half without a field goal.

Isaac Likekele scored 15 points and distributed 11 assists in the win Oklahoma State while Thomas Dziagwa added 14 points off the bench thanks to four 3-pointers. Yor Anei tallied 14 points and Cameron McGriff hit for 10 for Oklahoma State (11-11, 1-8).

The Cowboys entered the game 0-8 in conference games, tying the 1929-30 team for the only time in school history to begin the conference slate with eight straight losses.

“I’m unbelievably happy for our players,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said. “It’s been a tough road to hoe pretty much since November ended, to be honest. We’ve had some success, but it’s been spotty. We’ve had a lot of moments where we’re scratching our heads trying to figure it out.

“Tonight, what they showed is that they continue to work and believe in each other.”

–Field Level Media

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