The Bears traveled to Oklahoma State tonight to take on the Cowboys, who the Bears swept last season. The results this time, however, did not favor Baylor, with OSU earning a 64-53 win.
The first ten minutes of the contest saw great execution on both ends of the floor. Offensively the Bears were on from behind the arc, but also effectively ran half-court sets that forced the Cowboys’ defense to work. Defensively, Scott Drew’s zone once again shut down his opponent. Interestingly, Drew altered the zone slightly for this game. Rather than having his wing player bump down completely to deny the corner pass, he sealed the edge on Phil Forte, one of the nation’s best three point shooters, and forced him to take long and contested threes.
Unfortunately, those long threes began to fall, including one from Forte that hit from roughly six feet behind the arc. The Cowboys managed to work their way to the middle of the zone on a run that gave them the lead, kicking out to multiple long-range makes, and pounding out buckets in the paint.
The last ten minutes of the first half saw yet another offensive drought for the Bears, including a period of two made field goals to six turnovers. With under three minutes left in the half, the Bears managed to close the Cowboys’ lead to only four, but quickly gave up three straight makes and saw their deficit increase to nine heading into the locker room.
The second half, although starting promisingly with four straight points, was much of the same for the Bears. Lack of effective shooting and the Cowboys’ stifling of Baylor’s second change-game led to an inefficient and gaunt offensive performance. On top of that, the Bears committed several unforced turnovers with sloppy passes and reckless plays.
Defensively, Scott Drew returned to a less amorphous 1-3-1 than what he employed in the first half, but, in the end, the Bears allowed an astounding 50% from beyond the arc.
After an initial deficit, the Cowboys kept the Bears at arms-length the entire game, holding on to a consistent 6-10 point lead the entire second half.