Torre Pours It On The Bears

Thanks to Torre Johnson the Oklahoma State Cowboys got their first Big 12 Conference road victory of the season with a 66-48 win over Baylor at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas on Saturday. The 6-foot-6 junior college transfer had career highs of 26 points and 12 rebounds as the Cowboys sent the Bears, playing just their second game of the season, to their 16th straight loss dating back to last season.

Johnson, who was averaging 11.7 points and 4.2 rebounds entering the game, recorded his second double-double of the season by making 9-of-13 shots from the field and 8-of-9 free throws. Earlier in the second he had 20 points and 11 rebounds against Pepperdine. That game, like Saturday's, was also on the road.

"He continues to really play well," Cowboy associated head coach Sean Sutton said of Johnson. "I thought that since the suspension (in late December) he's come back and he's really played lights out, and rebounded like he did out in Pepperdine. There's no reason he shouldn't be the best rebounder on this team night in and night out, and one of the best scorers. He's such a great athlete and he's a shoot-maker, anything 15 feet and in, if he gets his feet set, you can almost count it. He has a knack for making tough shots. I thought with the fact that JamesOn (Curry) struggled, and some of our other guys struggled to score points, he gave us a huge lift off the bench with 26 points and 12 rebounds."

The Cowboys, now 12-5 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 play, jumped out to a 10-0 lead during the first five minutes and built the lead to as many as 16 in the first half before the Bears pulled within 33-22 at intermission. Baylor pulled within 35-28 early in the second half on back-to-back Aaron Bruce three-pointers but that was the most damage the sophomore guard did to the Cowboys after scoring 33 points a year ago when the two teams played in Waco. Bruce was just 3-of-14 from the field, including 2-of-9 from three-point range, for 11 points after making 5 of 6 treys in last season's game. The Cowboys also forced him into turning the ball over five times.

Oklahoma State, led by Johnson and Mario Boggan, went on an 11-0 run after the Baylor run to open the second half. David Monds, on a beautiful pass from Boggan, completed on a conventional three-point play, Johnson hit two free throws, Boggan scored back-to-back baskets and Johnson finished the run off with a jumper from the baseline. That put the Cowboys up 48-29 and although Baylor would not quit, the Bears never seriously threatened after that.

Joining Johnson in double figures for the Cowboys were Boggan with 12 points while Byron Eaton contributed 10. Boggan also had five rebounds and three assists. Terrel Harris recorded 9 points and 5 rebounds. JamesOn Curry, who was 1-for-7 shooting, scored just four points before fouling out with 6:18 remaining in the game. Luckily for the Cowboys they did not need his leadership on the court in the final minutes.

Baylor looked like a team playing just its second game of the season after not playing a nonconference scheduled because of NCAA rules sanctions. The Bears shot just 32 percent from the field and made just 9 of 21 free throws (42.9 percent), and turned the ball over 23 times. OSU had 21 turnovers.

"Our guys fully understood that this was a game that we had to have," said Sean Sutton. "You've got to be able to go on the road and win if you're going to compete for a conference championship or finish high in the standings. There was a disadvantage in that this was the first game for Baylor on the home court. They had a big crowd and they were excited and emotional to play. But the advantage (for us) was that it was really only their second game, so they made some mistakes. Both teams turned the ball over too many times, but we're pleased we got the win and we're pleased to be 2-1 and to get a road win."

OSU now take a week off before play host to Colorado at Gallagher-Iba Arena next Saturday, Jan. 21. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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