- Associated Press - Monday, February 9, 2015

WACO, Texas (AP) - Rico Gathers and No. 16 Baylor were starting to feel as though they had things headed in the right direction.

But after beating three consecutive Big 12 opponents by at least 18 points, and with their highest ranking of the season, the Bears were suddenly disappointed.

Le’Bryan Nash had 22 points and Phil Forte had 16 of his 18 after halftime as surging No. 21 Oklahoma State, a team picked to finish near the bottom of the Big 12, rallied with long shots in a 74-65 victory Monday night.

“After three big wins, we got up and we kept thinking that we’d put them away or they’d go away,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “They deserve a lot of credit for staying within their game plan and scoring in transition. If not transition, making us guard.”

The Cowboys (17-7, 7-5 Big 12) have won three consecutive games against ranked teams during a regular season for the first time. They were coming off a win over league-leading Kansas after winning in overtime at then-No. 25 Texas last week.

Oklahoma State, down by eight late in the first half, hit its first four 3-pointers after halftime after shooting only 3-of-15 from long range before that. And the Bears, playing their third game in six days, had 16 turnovers that led to 20 points by the Cowboys.

“It’s real disappointing, especially when you’re on a winning streak,” Gathers said. “You feel like you’re getting things going and then you come out and drop the ball.”

Taurean Prince had 20 points for Baylor (18-6, 6-5). Gathers had 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Bears, his fourth consecutive game with at least 15 rebounds.

Oklahoma State’s first 3-pointer after halftime became a four-point play by Forte, who was fouled by Royce O’Neale while making a breakaway shot. The Cowboys, who had trailed by eight points late in the first half, then tied the game at 39 when Forte grabbed a long rebound on a missed 3 by Baylor and made another one.

Anthony Hickey’s 3 from the top of the left key broke the tie.

Forte had a short floater with 8:24 left to put the Cowboys up 58-47 before Baylor scored eight straight points, getting within 58-55 on a jumper by Prince. But Oklahoma State’s nearly four-minute scoring drought ended when Forte made another 3-pointer from the left corner in front of his bench.

Newberry finished with 16 points and Hickey had 12.

Baylor twice led by eight before halftime, including 33-25 with 2:48 left after an 11-2 run when Prince scored nine consecutive points in a span of 100 seconds, then had a bounce pass to Gathers for a layup.

But Oklahoma State scored the last seven points of the half, capped by a 3-pointer by Hickey in the final minute on its last shot.

“We were just very steady. We never panicked,” Cowboys coach Travis Ford said. “I thought the difference in the game was the last 2½ minutes of the first half.”

Drew certainly couldn’t deny that.

“That really hurt,” he said. “Definitely we should have come into the locker room with momentum instead of giving it back.”


Baylor gets a couple of extra days before its next game Saturday at No. 8 Kansas, which a month ago escaped Waco with a one-point victory.

“Losing home games really stinks,” Drew said. “Three (games) in six days we wanted to finish out on a positive note. In the second half, we ran out of gas.”


An 11-2 run by Baylor to go up 33-25 came immediately after the Cowboys had an 11-2 spurt of their own to go up 23-22. Hickey hit a 3-pointer from the left wing and Forte penetrated inside - among the bigger Baylor defenders - for a floater that put the Cowboys up 23-22 with just over five minutes left in the half before Prince ignited the Bears.


Oklahoma State: The Cowboys completed their first regular-season sweep of Baylor since 2006. … Oklahoma State is 8-0 this season against teams from Texas.

Baylor: Prince has scored in double figures 18 times this season. He had only 12 career double-figure scoring games in 62 games the previous two seasons.


Oklahoma State: at TCU on Saturday.

Baylor: at No. 8 Kansas on Saturday.

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