|Baylor guard Pierre Jackson has the ball stripped from him going to the basket by Oklahoma State guard Cezar Guerrero, bottom, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)|
Oklahoma State no match for No. 4 Baylor
WACO, Texas—Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford didn't need long to explain what happened to his team against fourth-ranked Baylor. Or how good he felt the Bears played.
"They played great. We played bad. There you go," Ford said in the opening statement of his postgame news conference after the Cowboys' 106-65 loss at Baylor on Saturday.
When he was then asked a question, Ford responded, "They played really, really, really well. Really, really, really well."
Less than 30 seconds after he started talking, Ford mumbled "Thank you" and left the podium.
It would certainly be hard to argue with what Ford said so quickly.
Baylor (17-0, 4-0 Big 12) remained undefeated while extending its school-record winning streak to 17 games. The Bears made a season-high 15 3-pointers, outrebounded Oklahoma State 48-25 and had 25 assists.
Perry Jones III, the preseason Big 12 player of the year, had 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting with 12 rebounds for Baylor. Freshman Quincy Miller had a season-high 21 points and Pierre Jackson scored 18 points with five of the Bears' 3s.
"That's just the depth we have. We have a lot of confidence in each other. We know how to play with each other," Jones said. "It's just having guys on the floor that you're comfortable with, and everybody's comfortable with everybody. So that's a plus for us."
Keiton Page and Markel Brown each had 15 points for the youthful Cowboys (9-8, 2-2), whose primary eight-man rotation includes five freshmen and only one senior. The Cowboys shot 39 percent (21 of 54).
The Bears went into Saturday as one of three undefeated teams in major college basketball, along with No. 1 Syracuse and No. 15 Murray State. They have a big test Monday night at No. 10 Kansas.
Baylor had its most points ever in a Big 12 game that didn't go to overtime. It was their most 3-pointers in a game since making 15 against Prairie View on Dec. 13, 2008, but still five short of the school record set in 1995.
Coming off a 75-73 victory at Kansas State that was its third two-point win in five games, Baylor shot 53 percent overall (36 of 68) and 52 percent on 3-pointers (15 of 29) against Oklahoma State. The Bears were well in control by halftime.
"There are not a lot of games where you have everybody play and everybody contributes," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "Everybody that played gave something to the team, did something for the team that made us better. As a coach, that's when you're happiest, when you players are all happy."
Six different Bears made 3-pointers, nine scored and 10 had rebounds.
Quincy Acy had 15 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, swatting one away with so much force midway through the second half that the ball wound up landing on the Oklahoma State bench.
"Just relieving some anger," Acy said. "I had like six turnovers, it was just all bad."
A couple of minutes later, Acy made a 3-pointer and walked away holding up three fingers toward his teammates.
The Bears already had eight 3-pointers by halftime, when they led 46-31. Jones then started the second half with a short baseline jumper.
Jones put the Bears up 61-41 with 13:52 left when he made a layup after an alley-oop pass from Miller was just mistimed.
But everything worked out perfectly on a highlight play in the first half. Jackson moved around a defender near the free throw line, but instead of taking the open shot threw an alley-oop pass to Jones for a monster dunk and a 33-23 lead.
Ford quickly called a timeout and was on the court almost before the play was done.
The Cowboys have dominated the series, including a 22-7 advantage since 1998. But Baylor has won the last six meetings in the Ferrell Center, including Saturday.
Jones dismissed the idea of this being a statement game for Baylor before going to Kansas.
"No, not at all. Just taking it one game at a time," Jones said. "Not looking ahead until it's time. Now it's time to get ready for Kansas. And that's what we need to focus on now."