Oklahoma State Cowboys (16-7, 6-5) at #16 Baylor Bears (18-5, 6-4)
Where: Ferrell Center (10,284), Waco, Tex.
When: 6:00 p.m.
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network
View from the enemy: Our Daily Bears
Line: Baylor (-6), O/U 125
|G: Anthony Hickey||
G: Lester Medford
|G: Phil Forte||G: Kenny Chery|
|G: Jeff Newberry||F: Royce O'Neale|
|F: Le`Bryan Nash||F: Rico Gathers|
|F: Michael Cobbins||
F: Jonathan Motley
Cowboys - Bears Preview:
WACO, Tex., Feb. 9, 2015 -- The streaking Oklahoma State Cowboys (16-7) will battle the #16 Baylor Bears (18-5) in Waco on Monday night as the Pokes will look to win three straight conference games for the first time this year. Like every Big 12 game, this one will be no easy task for the Pokes who are coming off a huge upset win over Kansas. A win would improve the Pokes to 7-0 against teams from Texas this season.
Oklahoma State will be one just one days rest as they took on and upset the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday in front of a rowdy home crowd. The Pokes used an incredible second half to overcome an 11-point halftime deficit on Saturday. Travis Ford's team was led by Senior forward, Le'Bryan Nash, who scored 18 points in the contest. After beating the Jayhawks, the Pokes now have two wins over teams ranked in the AP Top 10 this season.
The Bears will be fresh off a victory as they broke the press and thrashed West Virginia by 17 points on Saturday morning. The Bears were led by
World's Strongest Man star forward, Rico Gathers, who recorded a double-double in the first half and finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds. The Bears had five players in double figure points, including two off the bench.
The last time these two squads met the Pokes walked out of GIA with an 11-point victory over a ranked Baylor team. Le'Bryan Nash and Phil Forte combined for 29 points and 11 boards. Jeff Newberry dropped in 10 points, Tavarius Shine added 11 points and Anthony Hickey dished out double digit assists in the victory. Baylor's Rico Gathers finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds as he was slowed down by Michael Cobbins who was able to stay out of foul trouble. The Pokes used their defense to hold Baylor to just 34 percent from the field last time and they'll need to be just a good on Monday if they want to pick up a win.
Neither team is suffering from significant injuries, the only note is that Phil Forte is still battling flu-like symptoms.
The series between the Pokes and Bears goes all the way to 1918 but didn't really pick up until the Big 12 was created in the 1990s. Oklahoma State owns a 53-22 all-time advantage over Baylor and has won three of the last five. The Pokes are 6-8 against Baylor since Travis Ford took over in Stillwater. Winning in Waco is no easy task as the Pokes haven't won down there since 2006.
Keys to the game:
The Bears have one of the better benches in the conference and are led in scoring by Taurean Prince, who comes off the bench. The Pokes rarely get any production from their bench but they'll have to get some on Monday if they want to hang around. When these two teams played last time the Pokes won by 11. The Cowboy bench had one player, Tavarius Shine, score as he dropped in 11 points which covered the margin of victory.
The Pokes need to get 15-20 points from their bench tonight which shouldn't be too difficult as the bench should see a lot of minutes against a Baylor team that is one of the best teams in the nation in regards to getting to the line. Look for Shine and Mitch Solomon to get extended minutes tonight against the Bears. These two are my offensive keys to the game.
Keep the rebound margin close
Baylor pulls down 41.4 boards a game, good for fourth best in the country. A large part of that success is a result of Rico Gathers who secures an astonishing 12.5 rebounds a game. Michael Cobbins, Le'Bryan Nash and Mitchell Solomon will be forced to box Gathers out and secure some boards if the Pokes want to stay relevant on Monday night.
Another factor of this is fouls. Cobbins and Nash have to stay out of foul trouble as their easily the two best rebounders on this team. If they head to the bench early then don't be shocked when the Baylor rebound margin, and their lead, grow.
Give me the Bears 78-65. I think the Cowboys will be exhausted from the KU game and will just be outhustled and beaten on the boards and defensively. I'll note that I'd take the Bears regardless of rest because it's so hard to win on the road.
Make sure you come back to CRFF post-game for our recap story!