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Wait, How Did OSU Hoops Take Down Baylor in Waco Again?

The Pokes got 28 of their 38 points in the paint from two freshmen.

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Oklahoma State beat Baylor on Wednesday for the first time since 2015 in maybe the most unexpected way possible.

The Pokes made just five of the 29 attempts from 3-point range that they took, good for 17 percent from distance. So why is it unexpected that they won? Well, across all D1 games this year, teams are 31-202 when attempting at least 25 3-pointers and making less than 20 percent. OSU has one of those wins (Baylor) and one of those losses (Kansas State).

To take it even further, since 2011 the Pokes are 4-8 when attempting at least 20 3-pointers and shooting worse than 20 percent and now 1-1 when attempting at least 25 and shooting worse than 25 percent (both this year as noted above). Here’s a look at those games for the Pokes since 2011, sorted by 3-point percentage.

Year Opponent Result 3P 3PA 3P%
2017 Texas A&M L 55-72 3 24 13%
2013 Baylor W 69-67 (OT) 3 21 14%
2015 Oklahoma L 49-64 3 21 14%
2016 Iowa State L 50-58 4 27 15%
2014 West Virginia W 81-75 4 24 17%
2019 Kansas State L 46-85 4 24 17%
2019 Baylor W 67-64 5 29 17%
2012 Missouri State W 62-42 4 23 17%
2012 Virginia Tech L 71-81 4 23 17%
2013 Iowa State L 76-87 4 23 17%
2012 Texas A&M L 61-76 4 21 19%
2013 Kansas L 67-68 (2OT) 4 21 19%

I would argue that this year’s team is even more dependent on the 3-pointer, considering how short-handed they are. They’re now 1-9 when shooting worse than 33 percent from deep with the only win coming Wednesday in Waco.

None of it adds up until you consider what freshmen Isaac Likekele and Yor Anei did. The inside-outside duo combined to go 15 for 24 from the field with just one attempted 3-pointer. They took a combined seven shots that weren’t within like five feet of the bucket.

They scored 35 of their 37 points from either in the paint or at the free throw line. They posted 28 of OSU’s 38 points in the paint. They overcame so-so nights from Cam Crime Dog and Lindy. They covered up a 2 for 11 showing from Dizzy.

It was quite a performance from both.

Screen Shot 2019-03-07 at 12.02.02 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-07 at 12.02.09 PM“We were right there knocking on the door last week,” Mike Boynton said. “We took Tech to overtime on the road and had KU on the ropes Saturday at our place and just couldn’t finish. It’s a testament to these guys, because even though they keep getting knocked away, they never stop coming back. They keep fighting.”

They keep fighting. That epitomized Likekele and Anei on Wednesday (and always). Two dudes who don’t know any better than to let it ride for the entire season, even a terrible one like this one. It came at the right time, too, because no matter what happens over the next week, this team (and us as fans) will be able to take that performance into the offseason and have something to dream on for 2019-20.

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