No. 10 Baylor, likely shorthanded, bids to avenge loss to Oklahoma State
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No. 10 Baylor will look to salvage a season split with Oklahoma State and stay within striking distance of the Big 12 Conference lead when the teams battle Monday night in Stillwater, Okla.
On Jan. 15, the Cowboys beat then-No. 1 Baylor in Waco, Texas. That 61-54 decision marked the first time in nearly six years that the Bears had dropped back-to-back home games.
If Baylor is going to enact revenge on Oklahoma State, it likely will have to do so with a limited roster.
Baylor, which trails first-place Kansas by 1 1/2 games in the Big 12, heads north after posting a 72-62 win at home over TCU on Saturday behind a combined 30 points from Jeremy Sochan and Kendall Brown. Sochan scored 17 points and Brown 13 as the Bears (22-5, 10-4) were forced to play without the injured Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer.
"This year it's more of an adjustment for freshmen than any other year because you have more fifth-year and sixth-year guys," Baylor coach Scott Drew said afterward. "A lot of teams, their top six rotation is seniors and fifth-year and sixth-year guys. It's even more of an adjustment for (Sochan and Brown), and they've done a great job."
The Bears also got double-figure scoring from Matthew Mayer (16 points), James Akinjo (11) and Flo Thamba (10) while capturing their third victory in their past four outings.
Despite the short bench, Baylor built a 21-point lead late in the second half before TCU made the final score more respectable. The Bears never trailed, limited TCU to 43.5 percent shooting from the floor, and created 15 turnovers.
Cryer missed his sixth game in Baylor's past seven contests with a foot injury. Flagler was out with a sore knee.
"We had a lot of advantages with a lot of players," Brown said. "We have great players, and we know what they can do. We just give them the opportunity and they've got to make the play."
The Cowboys' most recent game was an 82-79 overtime win over Kansas State on Saturday, as Avery Anderson III's 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds to play proved the difference. The victory was the third in the past five outings for Oklahoma State (13-13, 6-8), with all three wins coming at home.
Bryce Thompson scored 23 points for the Cowboys on Saturday. Anderson hit for 20 and Kalib Boone scored 11.
Oklahoma State shot 51.9 percent from the floor, an effort that allowed Oklahoma State to survive a swoon late in regulation and earn a split in the regular-season series with Kansas State.
"We didn't have a whole lot of head-hanging or wide-eyed looks (heading to overtime)," Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said. "The guys were determined that they were gonna be able to make plays when we needed them.
"It was a battle for the whole 45 minutes -- thankful to get out of here with the win and look forward to moving on and get ready for the next one."
--Field Level Media
Updated February 21, 2022