Oklahoma State traveled to Waco on Tuesday night to take on the Baylor Bears. Coming off a blowout win over TCU, the Cowboys had reason enough to feel confident heading into this game.
OSU was significantly undersized in the post in this game, which will be a trend throughout the season. With Rico Gathers roaming the paint for Baylor, the Pokes were going to need physical, clean play from Anthony Allen and Mitchell Solomon. Baylor quickly made their presence known on the offensive glass with their first two buckets coming on second chance opportunities, and their first seven points coming from Gathers.
During the first half, OSU found themselves well behind after giving up the ball eight times. The Bears stretched the lead out to 18 points at one time in the first half, but the Cowboys did a good job to get the game to single digits, ending the first half on a 12-5 run.
Jawun Evans was a bright spot on an otherwise gloomy first half, recording seven first half assists along with seven points. Evans would end the game with nine assists, just three shy of the record for assists in a game by a freshman.
The second half would prove to be more like the last five minutes of the first half, rather than the first 15. Impressive ball movement and feisty defense brought the Baylor lead down to three. However, Baylor would begin to impose their will. After bringing the lead down to three, Baylor would go on a 17-0 tear to ultimately put the game out of reach.
Rico Gathers, being the offensive rebounding machine that he is, imposed his dominance on Oklahoma State in every way. Gathers finished with 17 points and 17 rebounds, including 12 offensive rebounds. To put his dominance in perspective, Oklahoma State had a grand total of 18 rebounds. The Cowboys were destroyed on the glass to the tune of 45 rebounds to 18.
The last five minutes of the second half weren't pretty, but Jeffrey Carroll put Rico Gathers on a poster, and suddenly, everything seemed alright.
In the end, the Cowboys would fall to the Bears in a hard-fought game, 79-62. Regardless of the result, one thing that Cowboy fans can take from this game is this team is going to fight. Down 18 on the road at Baylor without their best player, and coming back to within three points is an accomplishment in itself. If they are going to lose by 17 points anyway, why not do it that way? Why not show some fight? Some pride.
That's what Oklahoma State showed with their second half surge to get back into this game.
MVP: Jeffrey Carroll (15 points/3 assists/2 rebounds)
Notable performances: Jawun Evans (8 points/9 assists)
Up Next: @ WVU, 12 P.M. Saturday 1/9, ESPNU