The Cowboys (14-2 overall and 4-1 in Big 12 play) struggled through the game's first eight minutes but turned it on to roll to an 82-53 victory over the Bears on the first game to ever be played on Eddie Sutton Court in Gallagher-Iba Arena.
The OSU Board of Regents named the floor after the Cowboys head coach after OSU defeated Iowa State a week ago (Jan. 15) to give Sutton the 768th victory of his Division I coaching career. Sutton's 768th victory moved into past his mentor and former coach Henry Iba into seventh place on the all-time coaching charts.
Thanks to the play of senior Joey Graham and freshman JamesOn Curry the Cowboys coasted against the Bears. Graham, who fouled out of the Cowboys' loss to Texas on Monday night midway through the second half, was dominant against Baylor. He scored 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting and added seven rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots in just 27 minutes of action. Curry scored 14 points, tying a career high, in 20 minutes of play.
"It was very important for us to come out in the second half and play great basketball because we have been slacking off lately," said Graham, who was 4-of-4 from the free-throw line to run his streak of consecutive free throws made to 35, just one shy of the Big 12 record held by former Oklahoma player Hollis Price. "Our objective today was to bring a presence to the Big 12. We wanted to let everyone know that we are here."
The Cowboys struggled against Baylor's 1-1-3 zone defense. They made just 6-of-24 from three-point range (but two of those were by Curry in the final two and a half minutes when the outcome was decided), and missed all 10 from behind the arc in the first half. John Lucas, who entered the game third in the Big 12 with a 41.9 shooting percentage from three-point range, was just 1-of-9 against Baylor. Daniel Bobik is making 41.5 of his three-point attempts, and he was 0-of-6 against the Bears.
"We really don't have a problem against a zone defense," said Ivan McFarlin, who finished with 10 points and six rebounds. "It is just a matter of hitting the open shots that we are getting. When our guards are hitting the perimeter shots than we are able to score inside. We are taking good shots, they are just not going in for us."
Baylor (9-6 overall and 1-3 in the Big 12) looked to be a top 5 team in the nation – and not Oklahoma State – during the game's first eight minutes. Tim Bush's two free throws with 12:44 left in the first half gave the Bears an 18-11 lead. But over the next nine minutes of play the Cowboys would go on a 19-1 run and never looked back en route to the victory.
The Cowboys led 36-24 at halftime and the closest Baylor would get in the second half was seven early on Tommy Swanson's three-pointer with 16:48 remaining in the game.
Baylor coach Scott Drew's team has now lost to three of the top teams in the Big 12 – Oklahoma State (82-53), Oklahoma (65-51) and Texas (79-60).
"Personally, I think Oklahoma State is the best team we've played," Drew said. "They had us under an immense amount of pressure. I didn't think we had that much pressure against Oklahoma or Texas. They're a great team and it's easy to see why they have made so many runs in the (NCAA) tournament."
Cowboys Roll Bears; Look Ahead to OU
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