Oklahoma St. 66, Baylor 48
WACO, Texas (AP)—Torre Johnson kept making short jumpers and finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, leading Oklahoma State to a 66-48 victory Saturday at Baylor that spoiled the Bears’ first home game this season.
After serving an unprecedented NCAA penalty that banned them from any non-conference games and then playing their first game on the road, the Bears (0-2) played on campus for the first time since last March. They got off to a miserable start and never recovered.
Baylor missed its first six shots and had five turnovers while Oklahoma State (12-5, 2-1 Big 12) jumped out to a 10-0 lead.
Mamadou Diene, the 7-foot freshman from Senegal, finally scored an inside basket six minutes into the game. Henry Dugat’s layup 25 seconds later came after an Oklahoma State turnover, but the Bears never got closer than that six-point deficit.
For all of Baylor’s inexperience this season, Oklahoma State countered with a lineup that had three freshmen and a sophomore. Freshman guard Terrel Harris had two quick baskets in the opening spurt. The Cowboys finished with 21 turnovers, only two less than Baylor.
Johnson, a junior college transfer, carried Oklahoma State during a six-minute span after Baylor’s first two free baskets. Johnson made five of his team’s six baskets in that stretch—all on jumpers inside 10 feet—and put the Cowboys up 24-8 with a three-point play with 6:10 left.
Johnson had 15 points by halftime, when Oklahoma State led 33-22, and finished 9-of-12 shooting. Mario Boggan had 12 points and Byron Eaton 10 for the Cowboys, who have won four of their last five games.
Freshman Curtis Jerrells led Baylor with 12 points and four assists, while Aaron Bruce and Dugat had 11 points each. Bruce, the nation’s top scoring freshman last season who had 20 points in the Bears’ 79-61 loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday night, was 3-of-14 shooting.
Bruce was scoreless and missed his first seven shots until consecutive 3-pointers in a 32-second span right after halftime.
But after Bruce’s only 3-pointers got Baylor within 35-28, Johnson hit a short fadeaway jumper along the baseline. David Monds then scored an inside basket and added a free throw to put the Cowboys up 40-29, and they maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the game.
Baylor began practice in mid-October like everybody else, then had to wait three months to play their first game Wednesday night—307 days after being eliminated from last year’s Big 12 tournament.
About 12 minutes before their home opener, the Bears stood in a circle at midcourt, facing the crowd to take part in the playing of the alma mater with the sparse but enthusiastic crowd.
The Bears were banned from playing non-conference games as part of NCAA penalties for numerous violations under former coach Dave Bliss. The violations were discovered after former player Patrick Dennehy was murdered in the summer of 2003.
Former player Carlton Dotson pleaded guilty last year and is serving a 35-year sentence for the death of Dennehy, who was missing for six weeks before his body was found.
Dennehy’s death sparked a scandal that led to the resignation of Bliss, who school investigators discovered had paid up to $40,000 in tuition for two players and improperly solicited $87,000 from school boosters, among other allegations.