Baylor Beats Oklahoma State

via The Sports Xchange

STILLWATER, Okla. — Baylor kept throwing forward Johnathan Motley at Oklahoma State on Wednesday night.
And Motley kept throwing haymakers.
The big Bears junior scored a game-high 24 points, dominating inside and shooting 9 of 12 from the floor in No. 6 Baylor’s 72-69 win at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Baylor (21-3, 8-3 Big 12) halted its first losing streak of the season, a two-game slide, yet had to hang on, as Oklahoma State guards Jawun Evans and Phil Forte missed 3-point attempts that would have tied the game in the final seconds.
“Oklahoma State was playing really good basketball and was on a five-game winning streak,” Motley said. “It feels good to get a win like this, especially coming after a losing streak. This was a really good one for us, for sure.”
The Cowboys (15-9, 4-7) had their five-game winning streak snapped.
With foul trouble mounting, the Bears kept feeding the 6-foot-10 Motley in the paint. He repeatedly worked mismatches against Oklahoma State’s smaller post men, scoring at the basket and at the foul line, where he went 6 of 8. He also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
“He’s very difficult to match up with when you have his size and his length,” Evans said, “and it’s difficult to defend. You just have to find ways to get stops on him and get help from other players.”
The Cowboys found little help, as Motley continually caught the ball near the basket, converting dunks and layups with ease. And it was needed, with Baylor getting just 19 minutes and two points from 7-foot center Jo Lual-Acuil. Guards Ishmail Wainright and King McClure played much of the half with three fouls.
“We were trying to pound it down low as much as we could because we knew they like to play one-on-one defense,” Motley said. “Most teams don’t really do that, but we just tried to take advantage of what they were giving us.”
Guard Jeffrey Carroll led the Cowboys with 20 points, while point guard Evans added 16 points and six assists.
Oklahoma State made it interesting late, with the crowd rising, fueling a charge started on the defensive end. The Cowboys wiped out a 13-point deficit from a 70-57 hole with 4:13 left, with four turnovers spurring a 12-0 run that pulled them within one at 70-69 on an Evans runner in the lane with 1:01 left.
Baylor finally ended its drought with a pair of free throws by Manu Lecomte with 14 seconds remaining, before Evans, then Forte, got off 3-pointers, both just missing.
The Bears, who lost to Kansas and Kansas State last week, considered it a crucial win.
“Anytime you get a win in the Big 12, it’s usually one possession and it’s usually well-earned,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew. “We were blessed.
“Losing streaks occur. You want to stop them as quick as you can and get your rhythm back. That’s why this game was so important.”
Baylor led 34-30 at the half behind Motley, who had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor.
The Bears were up by as much as 28-18 before Oklahoma State closed at the break.
Carroll scored eight of his 13 in the half over the final 4:07, when the Cowboys outscored Baylor 12-6.
The Cowboys shot just 36 percent (9 of 25) through the first 20 minutes but attacked enough to put Baylor in some degree of foul trouble, as four Bears were strapped with two fouls each.
Overall, Baylor outshot Oklahoma State from the floor 54 percent to 42.9 percent.
The Bears return home to face TCU on Saturday. The Cowboys are also home Saturday, taking on Texas.