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Instacap: Cowboys Fall to the Bears on the Road, 81-70

OSU’s win streak comes to an end in Waco.



[Photo via Courtney Bay/Oklahoma State Athletics]

After a run of victories over three-straight ranked opponents, No. 17 Oklahoma State faced one of the best teams in the country, on both sides of the floor, and came up short falling to No. 3 Baylor 81-70 in Waco. But the game was closer than the final score might seem to indicate.

Cade Cunningham led all scorers with 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting. He also led all rebounders with seven boards to go along with four assists (tying all passers on the court). He tweaked an ankle in the waning moments of a game that was almost out of reach, effectively spelling the end to the Cowboys’ five-game win streak.

In the early goings, the Cowboys got to the rim (and finished) with ease off of pick-and-rolls. OSU started 5-of-6 from the field with assists on all five made buckets. But the Bears answered 2s with 3s, hitting five in the first half to help build a 42-31 lead at intermission.

The Cowboys could have resigned themselves to a loss after they fell behind double digits multiple times in the second half, to the No. 3 team, on the road. But they kept fighting back.

Three times the Pokes were able to get to within two possessions, but both times the Bears were able to answer.

At the 15:07 mark, a 5-0 run pulled the Pokes within 47-41 before the Bears scored seven-straight. Then a Cade-fueled run dug the Cowboys out of a 13-point hole to make it 64-60 with 6:01 remaining. Then the Bears’ ball movement, rebounding and 3-point acumen distanced them from the Pokes. Cade walked into his fourth made 3 of the night to make it 69-65, but the Bears were able to answer, again.

With the Cowboys’ chances dwindling, down 77-69 with 42 seconds left, Cade Cunningham turned an ankle near half court and headed to the bench.

After four points on 2-of-8 shooting in the first half, Cade scored 14 of the Cowboys’ first 19 after intermission, and he scored 20 in the final frame on 11 shots.

The Cowboys lost the turnover battle 18-14, and the Bears made them pay, scoring 26 points off of those mistakes.

OSU shot 54 percent from the field to Baylor’s 51 percent, and 37 percent from deep (Cade was 4-of-8) to the Bears’ 41 percent. But the Bears out-rebounded the Pokes by seven, which led to seven more shot attempts.

We seemed due for a lively discussion about the Big 12’s officials and this game provided that. Nothing was really getting called either way for much of the game — unless it was either a block or charge call. And after watching this game, I’m not certain that myself, or the officials, actually know what the rules are for determining the difference.

Strangely enough, OSU finished with just three more fouls on the game (17-14) and actually were behind the home team in that department most of the night.

Next up

The Cowboys end their regular season with a tacked-on trip to Morgantown to face No. 5 West Virginia on March 6 before the Big 12 Tournament kicks off March 10.

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