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Bandoo’s Day: Baylor Beats Oklahoma State 75-68

The Bears start 5-0 in the Big 12!

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a rough first half, Baylor (15-1, 5-0) rallied in the second half to beat Oklahoma State (9-8, 0-5) 75-68.

The Bears have their best Big 12 start since 1998. They’ll take on Oklahoma at 8:00 on Monday in Waco.

This felt like one of those games where shooting dooms the better team. Baylor started 2-of-16 from three. Oklahoma State, which entered the game 320th in 3-point percentage, started 8-of-13. Cam McGriff, who came in shooting 23% from deep, started 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. With such terrible shooting splits, Baylor trailed by nine at halftime and by 12 just past the first media timeout of the second half.

Baylor turned things around not long after. The Bears went on a 23-6 run to take a 58-53 lead with 6:31 left. Matt Mayer worked to Freddie Gillespie, who finished with 17 points. Jared Butler hit big threes (16 points in the game), and Devonte Bandoo and Macio Teague started hitting shots too.

Oklahoma State answered and took a 59-58 lead. But Bandoo was too good late. He finished 4-of-6 from three and had 16 points. His three on the next possession gave Baylor a lead they would never relinquish. Bandoo made another one, and Butler and Teague hit 3-of-4 free throws to give Baylor a three point lead with 16 seconds left.

Off a Baylor miss, Oklahoma State threw the ball to Bandoo. He drilled both free throws to give the Bears a five point lead. Gillespie added two more late as well.

Baylor’s goal is to win the Big 12. Every team has a down day where their opponent goes a little wild from deep. Baylor faced that today and won. That’s necessary to win the league. Bandoo had been struggling, but when Baylor’s fourth guard shows what he can do—and he sure did in a flashback to Gary Franklin’s Stillwater performance in 2014—it’s a testament to this team’s ceiling. With 13 games left, Baylor is the clear favorite to win the Big 12.