By Greg DeVries
The Baylor men’s basketball team will travel to Stillwater, Okla. to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys at 12:45 on Saturday. While the Cowboys are only a .500 team, the Bears are 0-8 in Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“For some reason they’ve had our number up there. We’ve had some close games and had some opportunities, but down the stretch we just haven’t been able to get it done up there,” head coach Scott Drew said. “All streaks come to an end at some point. Hopefully that one comes to an end sooner rather than later.”
The Bears beat the Cowboys at home on Jan. 14 106-65, but Baylor knows that they are going to be faced with a tough challenge.
“If that happened to us and we lost the game, you’re definitely going to have an ax to grind. You’re definitely going to come in more focused,” Drew said.
A few games after that forgettable loss, the Cowboys pulled off a huge upset over the Missouri Tigers, who were then ranked No. 2 in the nation. Le’Bryan Nash and Brian Williams combined for 49 points on 62 percent shooting for the Cowboys in that win.
But freshman Quincy Miller said he isn’t worried.
“I think it’s a big game for both of us. They want to win because we beat them like that, and we want to win just because we want to win,” Miller said. “We’re not nervous. We’re not worried about losing. We’re trying to win every game.”
Drew also addressed the zone defense that worked so well against Oklahoma State last time. The Bears held the Cowboys to under 39% shooting and forced 19 turnovers.
“It’s just what fits our team the best and what effects the other team,” Drew said. “And if you look at our team, we’ve had one of the longer teams in the country the last couple of years, and if length stays in front of you, it’s tough to shoot over. And the zone allows that to happen a little easier.”
Baylor should look for an advantage inside. Cowboy center Philip Jurick is listed as day-to-day with a foot injury. Even with the 6’11 Jurick in the paint, the Bears still managed to out-rebound the Cowboys 44-22 in their Jan. 14 victory.
“We’re a better team when we get the ball inside a little bit more and that comes off of the drive or feeding inside,” Drew said. “But that’s how you get to the free-throw line and we have such good free-throw shooters. Whenever they can get to the line good things are happening for us.”