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Oklahoma State Basketball

Oklahoma State Knocks Off No. 1 Baylor in Waco, 61-54

January 15, 2022

After dropping the first two games of a three-games in five days road trip, Oklahoma State knocked off the No. 1 Baylor Bears, 61-54, in Waco, TX. It marked the first time the Cowboys have beaten the No. 1 ranked team in the Associated Press’ Top 25 rankings, while also ending a 30-game Baylor win streak against unranked opponents.

With the win, the Cowboys move to 9-7 on the season and 2-3 in Big 12 play.

“[It was] 100% about guts because what you know is the defending national champion team, who just had their winning streak of 30-some odd games snapped playing at home and us being the team that beat them [at home] prior to that,” said head coach Mike Boynton. “There’s a lot of motivating factors for them, but there wasn’t more motivation for them than there was for us. Our guys banded together to show tremendous courage to come out here and play the game the right way, everybody who played scored, and that’s what I envisioned when I built this team is we can share the ball and be really dynamic and make it hard to key in on one individual. At the same time, Bryce Thompson was a star today.”

It all came down to the final minute of the game. After the Cowboys took an 18-point lead, the Bears came roaring back and got it back within one-point, 55-54, with less than two minutes left in the game. Sophomore Bryce Thompson was fouled on back-to-back plays with just over :20 remaining, sending him to the line, where he made both free throws, putting the Pokes back up three, 57-54.

On the next two defensive plays, Thompson recorded a steal and Rondel Walker recorded a defensive rebound, with Thompson hitting two free throws after being fouled following his steal and putting an exclamation point on the game with a last-second dunk following Walker’s rebound, to seal the win.

It was Thompson who led the way for the Pokes in both halves as he finished with an OSU career-high 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the floor. He was also a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line, all coming in the final two minutes of the game. He finished the first half with seven points.

The Cowboys led for 39:29 of the game, with Baylor leading very early on in the first half. The Cowboys were outrebounded 38-36, but scored 18 points off 11 Baylor turnovers, and 26 points in the paint compared to just 18 by the Bears. The Pokes also outscored the Bears on the fast break, 21-7, while shooting 45% from the floor, compared to just 31% by Baylor.

The Cowboys had one of their best halves of basketball this season in the first half down in Waco. Baylor took a 4-3 less than three minutes into the game, but that was as close as the first half would be as the Cowboys went on a 9-0 run and a 15-4 lead at the 14:05 mark.

The Bears went just 4-of-20 from the floor 13 minutes into the game, which was followed by a turnover and fast break layup by Keylan Boone to put the Pokes up 27-11.

By the two-minute mark of the first half, the Cowboys had doubled up the Bears, 34-17, following a huge 3-pointer from Bryce Thompson, then a steal and a fast break dunk by Thompson.

They held the Bears to their lowest point total in any half this season, just 22 points, while also holding them to 26% shooting from the floor and just 15% shooting from 3-point range.

The Cowboys did, however, finish the first half on a 2:14 scoring drought, the dunk from Thompson being the last points scored by the Pokes, but they entered halftime leading by 12-points, 34-22.

The Cowboys scoring drought continued for the first two minutes of the second half as Isaac Likekele hit the Pokes’ first bucket at the 18:15 mark to put the Pokes back up 12, 36-24. After a quick bucket from Moussa Cisse, the Bears nailed a wide-open three, then forced a Bryce Williams turnover on the other end just before the under-16 media timeout. A few minutes a later, Keylan Boone hit a huge 3-pointer to get some momentum back.

The momentum shifted back the other way with two quick 6-0 run by the Bears on two 3-pointers, then a third to cut the Pokes’ lead down to single digits, 47-38, just ahead of the nine-minute mark.

The Bears cut the deficit to just six points following a big transition 3-pointer, 51-45, ahead of the five-minute mark. As they have most of the game, the Cowboys had an answer as Rondel Walker recorded a hustle steal, then Thompson hit a big bucket on the other end, 53-45.

Mayer hit a big 3-point bucket to get the Bears back within just three points, 55-52, at the two-minute mark of the game, followed by two made free throws by Cryer to make it a one-point game with 1:20 left in the game.

The last time it was a one-point game was a 4-3 Baylor lead at the 17:35 mark. The Cowboys had led every minute of the game since that point.

The Cowboys will host TCU on Wednesday, Jan. 19 for their first home game in nearly two weeks. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will be streamed on ESPN+.

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