Oklahoma State battles Baylor to overtime but falls short in Big 12 opener

Jan. 6—Oklahoma State held the No. 1 three-point shooting team in the country to just 2-15 from deep, but it wasn't enough to secure the upset at home, falling 75-70 in overtime inside Gallagher Iba Arena.

Down the stretch of OT, coach Mike Boynton's team had a chance. Following a Brandon Garrison block, OSU had the ball with 24 seconds left and a chance to take the lead trailing 71-70. Quion Williams barrelled his way into the frontcourt and looked for an outlet pass to the corner.

Only problem was Ja'kobe Walter in the way.

The Baylor guard corralled the rushed pass, and after a couple of free throws followed by a missed three by Bryce Thompson, the game was over.

"It happens fast," Boynton said. "He really hasn't been in that situation. We would want Javon [Small] to be the one making the decision with the ball, and we probably would want to take the last shot. But you live with the instincts of your kids."

The story of the game for the Cowboys was Brandon Garrison, who introduced himself to the Big 12 with a game high 20 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and a perfect 7 for 7 from the field.

Alley-oops, driving layups, closeout blocks, rebounds. He was everywhere. And he's just a freshman.

"I just had to feel the game out a little bit and then once I made my first bucket the game came to me," Garrison said. "All the jitters came out and it was just flowing."

Two months ago to the day, Garrison scored one point in eight minutes in the season opening loss to Abilene Christian. He's come a long way since.

"He's special," Boynton said. "I'm just proud of him. We needed this from him today. To see him give us a chance...he was big time"

Despite limiting such a good three-point shooting team to 13 percent from behind the arc, OSU found itself struggling to secure defensive rebounds to end possessions. Baylor outrebounded the Cowboys 16-5 on the offensive glass and held a 12-6 second chance point advantage.

"I'm really proud of how our guys were able to battle and compete when not making shots," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "A lot of teams when they get guys that are used to making shots then start missing shots it starts to affect everything they do. Credit our guys for not letting that happen."

The Bears had to exploit other avenues to win, and that's exactly what they did. Fifty points in the paint was 14 more than the Cowboys. They also turned the Pokes over 12 times.

"You have to pick what you're gonna take away, because you can't take everything away it's not realistic," Boynton said. "We were really focused on defending the three."

Despite that, Oklahoma State had a real shot down the stretch. With 1:56 left, Garrison was grabbed by the arm while going up for a layup and it was ruled a flagrant 1 after a review. Garrison made both free throws then followed that up with an alley oop finish.

60-56 Cowboys.

What immediately followed was less than ideal, however.

Rayj Dennis pulled up for a deep three and was fouled on the shot. Dennis drained it. One of the few that found the bottom of the net all game. The four-point play was completed, and nobody scored the rest of regulation.

OSU guard Javon Small had a solid game, especially early on. Small scored 12 points in the first 12 minutes of the game to keep the Cowboys afloat early when shots weren't falling. Drives to the basket with authority and contested shots were his M.O.

"I feel like that was probably the best 40 minutes of basketball we've played all year," OSU guard Javon Small said.

Small finished with 17 points. Bryce Thompson had 15 despite an 0-6 night from three.

As is the case in the Big 12, the road certainly doesn't get easier for Oklahoma State from here. Back-to-back road contests against Texas Tech on Jan. 9, and Iowa State on Jan. 13, followed by a home date with No. 2 Kansas.