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Baylor rallies for overtime win at Oklahoma State

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Flagler torched the nets, Ice missed a potential game-winner despite a great game; Baylor escapes.

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

As the old saying goes, “just like football.”

Oklahoma State took round one of football against Baylor before dropping the Big 12 title game; the Pokes beat Baylor in Waco before losing 66-64 in overtime in Stillwater— similar fashion to the Big 12 title game if you will — in round two.

At least there’s less pain associated with the loss this time around, right?

The Pokes started as slow as they ever have, going scoreless for the first 5:13 of the game. Oklahoma State rebounded nicely from that slow start and led by seven at the half. The second half, as ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla says, was a fist fight in a phone booth.

Baylor out-scored OSU 31-24 in the second half to send it to overtime; the Bears shot 36.8 percent from the field while OSU shot 41.9 percent. Isaac Likekele nearly hit one of the wildest circus shots of all time to win it in regulation, but didn’t quite beat the shot clock which sent the game to overtime tied at 60.

To further demonstrate the defensive struggle, Baylor out-scored OSU 6-4 in the five minute overtime. Adam Flagler torched the Pokes to the tune of 29 points (all in regulation, which accounted for nearly half of Baylor’s points) to go with four rebounds. Flagler shot 7-for-13 from three and 11-for-20 from the field, a needed reliable source of offense for Baylor with dynamo scorer LJ Cryer out with injury. Matthew Mayer finished with 12 points and Flo Thamba had eight as the Bears’ leading scorers.

Oklahoma State spread the ball around more with four starters finishing in double figures. The Pokes got just 15 points from the other six players that saw playing time. Bryce Thompson led the way with 15 points, followed by Likekele and Moussa Cisse with 12-apiece and Avery Anderson with 10. Cisse also corralled 10 rebounds.

Three-point shooting continued to be a point of weakness for the Cowboys; the team shot just 6-for-23 from deep tonight, further compounded by the fact the final look was a missed three-point try from Likekele.

Although close losses are always frustrating, OSU can celebrate a historic milestone for one of its cornerstone players. A fourth quarter bucket for Isaac Likekele made the guard from Mansfield, Texas, the first in school history to record 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 400 assists in his career.

Oklahoma State has teetered on the edge of .500 all season and Monday’s loss drops the Pokes to 13-14 overall. Of course, the wins and losses are nothing more than counting stats to remember this season as OSU is ineligible for the Big 12, NIT and NCAA tournaments due to a previous questionable ruling from the NCAA. However, wins and losses are still important. Beating Baylor at home would have been big for the momentum of a team that closes out at OU, at Iowa State and home to No. 9 Texas Tech.

The loss to Baylor is Oklahoma State’s seventh loss of the season by six points or less, meaning half of OSU’s losses have essentially come by two possessions or less. Maybe three possessions is the more accurate statement considering how the Pokes struggle to make threes. The Pokes have four wins by six points or less.

Oklahoma State will bus down to Norman for a road Bedlam tilt at Oklahoma on Saturday at 11 a.m. on CBS. OSU needs to go 2-1 over its final three games to finish with a winning record in the regular season, one that could have been enough to get the Pokes into the NCAA Tournament... but we’ll never know for sure.