Butler’s 22 lead No. 2 Baylor past Oklahoma State 81-66

Butler’s 22 lead No. 2 Baylor past Oklahoma State 81-66

STILLWATER, Okla. – Baylor’s depth and expertise finally overwhelmed an Oklahoma State group that was lacking star freshman Cade Cunningham resulting from COVID-19 protocols.

Jared Butler scored 22 factors, and the second-ranked Bears rallied from a halftime deficit to beat Oklahoma State 81-66 on Saturday.

Cunningham, the Massive 12 Convention’s main scorer, hasn’t been training. He was cleared for exercise on Saturday, however coach Mike Boynton stated Cunningham wasn’t able to play. Key reserve Rondel Walker additionally sat out with an arm damage, leaving Oklahoma State with eight gamers obtainable.

The Cowboys nonetheless pushed the Bears, main within the early minutes of the second half earlier than Baylor took management. The Bears shot 53% after the break.

“That’s the distinction in a player-led group, an skilled group,” Baylor coach Scott Drew stated. “You need to really feel what’s going fallacious. And so they knew defensively we weren’t nearly as good as we usually are and rebounding, we weren’t nearly as good as we usually have been. So credit score them for caring for that.”

Mark Important scored a career-high 19 factors and Davion Mitchell had eight factors and 9 assists for Baylor (14-0, 7-0). Gonzaga additionally has began the season 14-0, making this the primary time the preseason Nos. 1 and No. 2 every received their first 14 video games of a season for the reason that preseason ballot started in 1961-62.

Kalib Boone scored a career-high 21 factors and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe added 13 factors and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma State (9-4, 3-4).

It was a high quality effort for roughly half-hour for Oklahoma State.

“There is no doubt that a part of it’s we have been gassed,” Boynton stated. “We weren’t in a position to maintain it. That is not an excuse, it is actuality.”

The Cowboys regarded able to maybe observe their upset win in opposition to Kansas on Jan. 12 with a good larger stunner. A dunk by Boone on a lob from Moncrieffe gave the Cowboys a 21-17 lead, inflicting Drew to name a timeout.

A 3-pointer by Bryce Williams put the Cowboys up 26-20, and one other 3 by Williams minutes later pushed Oklahoma State’s result in 34-25.

The Cowboys, paced by Boone’s 11 factors, led 36-32 on the half.

Baylor tied the sport at 36 on a layup by Important within the first minute of the second half, and a 3-pointer by Butler put the Bears up 39-38.

Three consecutive 3s by Butler in a 75-second span put the Bears up 63-51, they usually managed the sport from there.

“Man, he’s ridiculous,” Mitchell stated of Butler. “He can actually play the sport of basketball. He’s not cocky with it. He loves enjoying with us. And when he was making these photographs, he was telling us ‘good move.’ It’s identical to, he didn’t actually care about himself. He cared about his teammates enjoying.”

BIG PICTURE

Baylor: The Bears did what they needed to do — they scratched out a win on the highway in a hostile atmosphere. The socially distanced crowd at Gallagher-Iba Enviornment was energetic and affected the sport, particularly within the first half.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys confirmed that they’ve the expertise to compete with one of many nation’s finest groups, even with out one of many nation’s finest gamers.

STAT LINES

Oklahoma State outrebounded Baylor 23-12 within the first half, however Baylor received the matchup 22-14 within the second half.

Drew stated his group was disenchanted in its first-half rebounding effort.

“That’s one of many issues we do as a group is competing on the glass,” Drew stated. “I feel the blokes raised as much as the problem and actually did a a lot better job of discovering blockouts — holding blockouts —- after which on the offensive finish, having the ability to get free and get rebounds.”

QUOTABLE

Boynton on Baylor: “I imagine they’re the most effective two, three groups — perhaps one of the best group within the nation. And if that’s true, I additionally like our group loads.”

UP NEXT

Baylor hosts Kansas State on Wednesday.

Oklahoma State visits Iowa State on Monday.

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Comply with Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.

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Extra AP school basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25.

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