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Faltering Oklahoma State takes on rejuvenated Baylor

Jan 11, 2023; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Baylor Bears guard Keyonte George (1) celebrates after defeating the West Virginia Mountaineers at WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor will look to build on a confidence-boosting victory on the road and get back into the Big 12 Conference race when it hosts dangerous Oklahoma State on Saturday in the latest of a series of league slugfests for both teams.

The Bears (11-5, 1-3 Big 12) return home after a clutch 83-78 win at West Virginia on Wednesday that snapped a three-game conference losing streak. Freshman Keyonte George scored a career-best 32 points in the victory to lead Baylor, which had a big first-half lead, gave it all back and did just enough at the end to get the victory.

“Winning certainly breeds confidence, and we’ve had a little pep in our step this week since we were able to break that steak,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said Friday.

Adam Flagler added 19 points, LJ Cryer hit for 13 and Jalen Bridges contributed 10 points and a season-best 11 rebounds to record his first double double of the season.

All five of Baylor’s losses have come against teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25.

The Cowboys (9-7, 1-3 Big 12) have lost two in a row, falling at 11th-ranked Kansas State 65-57 on Tuesday. Kalib Boone led Oklahoma State with a career-best 23 points in the loss while Caleb Asberry added 15 as Oklahoma State’s shooting woes continued.

The Cowboys hit just 33.3 percent of their field goals and were just 5 of 22 on 3-pointers. They stayed within reach of the Wildcats thanks to a stifling defense that held Kansas State to just 35.6 percent shooting.

“When do we get a break? And there’s not one (in the Big 12),” Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said. “There’s no outs, there’s no one to save you. You gotta go through it, and you gotta deal with it every single day. Everybody’s dealing with the same stuff.

“[Practice] has been intense. It was probably a little more confrontational (on Thursday), but that’s OK.”

Oklahoma State has lost three of its past four games, all by 10 points or fewer.

–Field Level Media