Forte, Nash lead Oklahoma St. past No. 20 Baylor
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford was fine with getting close-to-normal scoring production from stars Phil Forte and Le’Bryan Nash.
What everyone else did helped the Cowboys beat No. 20 Baylor 64-53 on Tuesday night. Oklahoma State’s suffocating defense held the Bears to 34.5 percent shooting.
"We got after it," Ford said. "We got after it defensively, and we sustained it, and we had a little toughness to our defense. It wasn’t one or two guys, it was everybody locked in. It’s the difference between winning and losing."
Forte scored 16 points, Nash added 13 and everyone else chipped in to help the Cowboys claim their second win over a ranked opponent this season. Michael Cobbins had six points, a season-high 11 rebounds and matched a career high with five blocks, Anthony Hickey had eight points and a career-high 10 assists and freshman Tavarius Shine added a season-high 11 points for the Cowboys (14-6, 4-4 Big 12).
The Cowboys played much better than in their 63-53 loss to Kansas State last Tuesday.
"Everybody was taking it more seriously and realizing at what point in the season we’re at now," Cobbins said. "Everybody knew we had to come back after a loss, and basically, just respond."
Lester Medford scored 13 points, Taurean Prince added 12 and Rico Gathers added 11 points and 11 rebounds for Baylor (15-5, 3-4), which had won four of five. Baylor posted a season-low point total.
"I really thought Oklahoma State played a very good game," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "They didn’t give us anything easy in transition and the half-court, and they did a really good job executing on their offense."
Baylor had just eight assists and turned the ball over 13 times.
"Credit them for defensively, putting pressure on us," Drew said. "We didn’t really share the ball. When you face pressure like that, you make some unforced ones and that leads to frustration and that’s what we had."
Baylor went on an 11-0 run early to go up 13-6. Oklahoma State rallied, as threes by Forte and Hickey highlighted a 9-0 run that put the Cowboys up 23-17 and forced a Baylor timeout. The Bears went more than four minutes without scoring.
The Cowboys held Baylor to 32 percent shooting in the first half and led 30-21 at the break.
Jeff Newberry’s pump fake, drive and two-handed jam put the Cowboys up 32-25 early in the second half. Another three by Forte pushed Oklahoma State’s lead to 10.
Baylor hung around, but Oklahoma State hung on. Hickey penetrated and found an open Forte for 3 with four minutes remaining to stretch the Cowboys’ lead to 10.
The Cowboys will host No. 24 Oklahoma on Saturday in hopes of putting two solid games together. Oklahoma defeated Oklahoma State 82-65 in Norman, Oklahoma, on Jan. 17.
"We’re really just trying to find consistency," Shine said. "That’s what we’re going for. We’re just looking to come out and play our game and see how it goes."
Baylor: Gathers had 25 points and 28 rebounds against Huston-Tillotson on Jan. 21. … Baylor made just 3 of 6 free throws and had three assists in the first half. … F Royce O’Neale, who entered the game averaging 9.7 points, did not score and missed all four of his shots from the field.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys went 5-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half. … Forte increased his career scoring total to 1,136 points. He passed both Mario Boggan and Chianti Roberts on the Oklahoma State career scoring list and now ranks 30th. … Forte made 4 of 7 3-pointers and matched a career high with five rebounds.
Oklahoma State held a pregame moment of silence in honor of the 10 members of the school’s family who died in a plane crash on Jan. 27, 2001. The players wore black T-shirts during warmups that read "We Will Remember" across the front.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Drew, whose team often usually wins the rebounding battle convincingly but settled for a 35-34 edge on Tuesday: "Normally, where we make up some ground is on the second-chance points, and we weren’t able to do that either, tonight. I thought we struggled."
Baylor: Hosts Texas on Saturday.
Oklahoma State: Hosts Oklahoma on Saturday.