Oklahoma St. 82, No. 22 Baylor 75
James Anderson’s nickname, “Big Game James,” shows how much
Oklahoma State relies on its junior star. The Cowboys did so again
Saturday, and this time, he even had some help.
Anderson matched his season high with 31 points and grabbed 12
rebounds for his third double-double of the season, while
diminutive guard Keiton Page continued his hot streak with 22
points, allowing Oklahoma State to start a four-game stretch
against ranked teams by beating No. 22 Baylor 82-75.
Both Anderson and Page went 5 of 8 from 3-point range as
Oklahoma State (19-7, 7-5 Big 12) matched its season high for 3s,
finishing 14 of 25. The Cowboys have made 10 or more 3-pointers in
their last three games, all victories.
“We just took the shots that were there,” Anderson said. “…
We shoot a lot of 3s and if they’re there, we’re going to take
Lately, they have been going in, a trend Oklahoma State coach
Travis Ford undoubtedly hopes continues during the Cowboys’ next
three games, at No. 15 Texas, at home against top-ranked Kansas and
at No. 24 Texas A&M.
Ford said he thought beating Baylor (20-6, 7-5) should move his
team off the NCAA tournament bubble but acknowledged the
late-season run of games against conference powers is critical for
“This was a big win because it was against a good team and its
mid- to late February,” Ford said.
“We’ve got the youngest team in the league. I’m proud of our
team for getting to this point and I hope we’ve got some left in
The 5-foot-9 Page made three 3-pointers and scored 12 points in
the first 4 1/2 minutes. Anderson then heated up, with his third
3-pointer putting the Cowboys ahead 28-14 less than 10 minutes into
Baylor rallied and took the lead four times, but never by more
than two points. The Bears finished 12 of 22 from 3-point range but
never gained traction because Oklahoma State kept hitting shots,
Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
“The shooters made shots, so credit them,” Drew said.
“Obviously, you always want to feel a little better defensively,
but they made some tough shots. … We had a hand up in several of
those shots. That’s why James Anderson is a pro.”
Page has averaged 20 points over the last four games. He said
Ford has told the Cowboys not to concentrate on talk about their
NCAA tournament hopes, although it’s hard to avoid, especially as
the regular season nears its end.
“Definitely this is a huge stretch and we’re playing our best
basketball right now,” Page said. “We’re aware of how important
these next couple of games are.”
Tweety Carter went 7 of 12 from 3-point range – hitting three
from long range in the final 2 minutes – and scored 25 points for
Baylor, which had a three-game winning streak snapped. The Bears
had won four of their past six meetings against Oklahoma State.
“They played their best ball tonight,” Carter said of the
Cowboys. “They knocked down some shots that some nights they won’t
Anderson, the conference’s leading scorer, gave the Cowboys the
lead for good at 60-59 with two free throws with 7:11 left. With
Oklahoma State up 65-63, Obi Muonelo hit a 3-pointer and assisted
on a basket by Matt Pilgrim as part of a 7-2 run that gave the
Cowboys a 72-65 lead with 3:17 left.
Carter’s 3-pointer pulled Baylor within 75-69 with 1:52 left,
but Pilgrim jammed home a miss by Anderson at the other end with
Carter, who matched his career high for 3-pointers, hit two more
from behind the arc, but Anderson responded both times by making
two free throws.
Ford said Anderson, who guarded four different players at
different points of the game, played one his best all-around games
of the season.
“He scored like we know he can score,” Ford said. “He had his
first double-double he’s had in a while. He rebounded the ball
extremely well. Then we had to put him on … some bigger guys and
he did a great job defending different guys.
“James just competed the whole game. He stayed focused. He
stayed in that area where he knew that, ‘Hey, I’m one of the best
players in this league and I’m going to affect this game in a lot
of ways, not just scoring.”’
LaceDarius Dunn, Baylor’s leading scorer, missed a good part of
the second half because of foul trouble. He finished with 14 points
but had four 3-pointers to give him 269 for his career, breaking
the school record held by Aundre Branch.
Pilgrim had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma State.
Baylor forward Ekpe Udoh, of Edmond, Okla., went 3 of 15 from
the field, finishing with 11 points and 15 rebounds. Muonelo,
Udoh’s high school teammate, had 11 points and six assists.
Quincy Acy added 11 points for Baylor.