Cowboys Come up Short Late, Fall to No. 2 Baylor 75-68
STILLWATER -- In what could be described as they're best effort of the season, Oklahoma State came up short late against No. 2 Baylor as they lose 75-68.
With the loss, Oklahoma State drops to 9-8 on the season and 0-5 in Big 12 play.
"I don't want to ignore the obvious, right? Losing's not fun; it's hard, it's uncomfortable and nobody wants to lose," said head coach Mike Boynton on the Cowboy Radio Network. "So, I don't want to be unfair to our fans and tell them they should accept losing, but I'm as proud of my team today as I have been at any point this season because of the way we played and we're close."
Despite the loss, this game could easily be described as one of the best performances of the season for the Pokes. The Cowboys were hot for most of the game as they shot 41 percent from the floor and seemed to have got their mojo back as they shot 42 percent from 3-point range. At one point in the second half, Oklahoma State jumped out to a 12-point lead, they're largest lead of the game.
The Cowboys also out rebounded Baylor 37-30.
"Our kids did exactly what we asked them to do for 40 minutes today and put ourselves in a position to get a win over what I think is a team that's playing the best in the country right now," said coach Boynton on the Cowboy Radio Network. "They answered, which is what good teams do and they made some key plays late to give themselves an opportunity to get another road win, but two weeks ago when we started league play, we weren't playing very good basketball. Two weeks later, we're on the verge of getting this thing right where we need it to be so we can build on the progression that's been made so far."
The Pokes held a lead for most of the game, all the way until the 8:43 mark in the second half with Baylor went up 53-51.Even from that point, Oklahoma State kept it close and even took the lead back at one point.
Up to this game, Baylor had only trailed in 6 percent of their games this season.
The game went all the way down to the wire with Oklahoma State having a chance to win it at the end, but a turnover by Yor Anei put Baylor back at the free throw line and the Bears were able to get back up to a seven point lead.
But there's no doubt that Baylor is one of, if not the best team in the country. From the 14:58 mark to the 8:43 mark in the second half, the Bears went on a 20-6 run to take the lead away from the Pokes. Turnovers were also detrimental for the Pokes as they turned it over 15 times.
Senior Cameron McGriff led the way for the Pokes in the first half as the scored 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
But it was point guard Isaac Likekele that was the Pokes' biggest catalyst. Likekele seemed to be close to being back to full strength on Wednesday against Texas, but he was fully back today against Baylor. Likekele finished the game with 16 points, hauled in nine rebounds, dished out five assists and have four steals. This was his best performance since the Syracuse game back in November.
Oklahoma State is back in action this coming Tuesday, Jan. 21 as they travel up to Ames, IA to faces the Cyclones. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on ESPN+.