Baylor needs to make a last-ditch effort to avoid falling out of the rankings. A win over a streaking Oklahoma State team on Saturday just may do the trick.
The 21st-ranked Bears (13-3, 1-1 Big 12) opened the season with 12 wins in 13 games, highlighted by an 87-78 upset of then-No. 14 Arizona State on Nov. 28. But they’ve cooled since, dropping two of their last three contests, including an 84-73 defeat Wednesday at Texas A&M.
Junior guard Tweety Carter scored 16 points and sophomore guard LaceDarius Dunn added 14 for Baylor, but the Bears struggled defensively, forcing only seven turnovers and making two steals - both season lows for a team that averages more than eight steals per game.
“I’ll have to go back and look at film and see what happened,” coach Scott Drew said. “Normally we do a better job causing turnovers and scoring off of them.”
Senior guard Curtis Jerrells - Baylor’s leading scorer at 16.2 points per game - had 12 points Wednesday, but shot a season-worst 4-for-17 from the field and missed all four of his 3-point attempts.
Jerrells is averaging 14.0 points in six career games versus the Cowboys (12-3, 1-0), and had a total of 22 points last season as the teams split two meetings. The home team has won all four meetings between these schools over the past two seasons. Oklahoma State had won seven consecutive games in the series prior to that.
Coming into this weekend’s matchup, the Cowboys are riding a seven-game win streak, their longest since opening the 2006-07 season 11-0. They had little trouble extending that run, beating the same Texas A&M squad Baylor lost to four days later, 72-61, making coach Travis Ford’s Big 12 debut a victorious one.
Sophomore Marshall Moses had easily his best collegiate game, with 15 points and 13 rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench. Junior forward Obi Muonelo, who had a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards, was not surprised by Moses’ breakout performance.
“His numbers do not lie,” Muonelo said of Moses, who reached double figures in both points and rebounds for the first time in his 35-game career with the Cowboys. “He came out there tonight and was a beast. Everyday in practice, I have been telling him that after awhile he is going to start scoring in the game.
“That is what he did tonight. He brought what he does in practice out here and did it in front of all of you.”
Senior point guard Byron Eaton added 14 points for Oklahoma State, while Terrel Harris scored 11 and James Anderson added 10 to give the Cowboys five players in double figures for the fourth time this season.
Eaton had 25 points and eight assists last Feb. 13, when Oklahoma State beat Baylor 93-83 in Stillwell, Okla.