In the Big 12 opener, and the first true road game of the season for the Bears, Baylor was able to outlast Oklahoma State in overtime, winning 75-70. The 75 scored by Baylor was their lowest offensive output of the season. Without overtime, it would have been worse, as the Bears only managed 60 points in regulation. But, road wins in the toughest conference in America aren’t easy to come by, so Baylor will take it, especially considering they were only favored by 4.5 heading into the game.
RayJ Dennis was the leading scorer for Baylor, dropping 18 with 4 assists before fouling out in OT. Yves Missi carried the team for periods as well, managing a double double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Langston Love carried the load off the bench, dropping 17 points himself. Freshman phenom Ja’Kobe Walter had his struggles, only scoring 7 and going 2-11 from the field.
It was a rough day overall for Baylor, who is one of the best offensive teams in the country. The Bears only shot 42.5% from the field, and went a paltry 2-15 from behind the 3-point line. Winning this game while shooting 13.3% from 3 is a nice sign, though, as Baylor altered their style of play to counter Oklahoma State’s ferocious defense of the 3-point line by scoring a massive 50 points in the paint, helped by Baylor’s 16 offensive rebounds.
Oklahoma State, who’s home losing streak to Baylor now sits at 9, played respectably, refusing to let Baylor get away at any point in the game. Baylor’s largest lead only reached 6, while the Cowboys’ highest lead was 4. The killers for OSU were turnovers and rebounding. They couldn’t figure out how to capitalize on a horrendous shooting night from Baylor, and turned it over 12 times while getting out-rebounded 40-31.
The Cowboys were led by Freshman Brandon Garrison, who had a stellar game with 20 points and 8 rebounds. It was the McDonald’s All-American’s best game yet in Stillwater. Bryce Thompson and Javon Small also contended for OSU MVP, scoring 15 and 17 respectively. But, they also combined for 5 turnovers. Though, the dagger turnover that allowed Baylor to put the game away was committed by Quion Williams, as his errant pass with 19 seconds left allowed Baylor to extend their lead and shut the door on a Cowboys upset attempt.
Oklahoma State now sits at 8-6 (0-1 Big 12) on the season, and the Bears move to 12-2 (1-0 Big 12). Baylor will return home on Tuesday to play the first MBB conference game in the Foster Pavilion, facing new conference foe BYU. The Cougars are having a spectacular start to their season, sitting at 12-1 currently, and ranked 12th in the country.