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Photo by Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma State Basketball

Thompson Has His Best Collegiate Game at a Perfect Time in Waco

January 15, 2022

STILLWATER – If you were in Las Vegas on Saturday as Oklahoma State finished a grueling Big 12 road trip in Waco, Texas taking on the No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Baylor Bears. True, the Cowboys were the last team prior to Tuesday in Waco when Texas Tech ended Baylor’s 21-game winning streak to beat the Bears in the 2021 Big 12 Basketball Tournament in Kansas City. Back then Bryce Thompson was a member of the Kansas Jayhawks. On this Saturday that continued to prove the Big 12 is the best hoops conference in America as Kansas State beat Texas Tech coming off wins over Kansas, Baylor, and the Pokes on Thursday and TCU beat Oklahoma by one in overtime the Cowboys did the unthinkable. It was Thompson, who transferred to Oklahoma State that had his best day so far as a Cowboy to key a 61-54 win.

“After the loss to (Texas) Tech we knew had to come with the energy and come out ready,” Thompson said. “We had to have energy from the jump, in warm-ups, when the game started and tipped and then keep it up. They have a great team and we brought it today.”

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Thompson on one of the dunks in the win.

Thompson finished with 19 points and whether it was his three-pointer in the first half that stalled a Baylor comeback effort and pushed the Pokes lead back up to 32-17 or it was Thompson’s back-to-back trips to the line that saw him hit all four free throws to keep Baylor at bay late after the Bears had got the game within one point at 55-54.

“It is just you and the basket,” Thompson said of the free throws late. “That is where all those reps come in. You have to lock in and make those. It is where that mental toughness comes in because you are tired and you have to make them.”

Make no mistake this was a team effort and the Cowboys needed every point, every rebound, assist, steal and effort on either end of the floor. There has to be a leader, a catalyst, and Thompson, a McDonald’s All-American in high school at Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington and a five-star recruit had a game that was fitting of his prep resume’ and recruiting fanfare.

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Thompson defending Matthew Mayer of Baylor.

In just 24 minutes as Oklahoma State played a lot of players and kept legs fresh, Thompson had his points on 7-of-15 from the field. He hit just one three-pointer on four attempts. He was perfect with those four free throws in four tries late. Thompson also had a pair of dunks in the game that were momentum builders. He had two rebounds, one assist, and two steals. The Cowboys scored 21 of their 61 points in transition and had 20 points off turnovers. Thompson played a hand in all of it.

“This means everything,” Thompson said. “Going forward we need to keep it going, not get too high, never get too low and get ready for our next opponent.”

That next opponent is TCU this week in Stillwater.

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