No. 6 Baylor edges Oklahoma State 64-60

Oklahoma State guard Brian Williams, bottom, passes the ball as Baylor guard A.J. Walton reaches in during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. Baylor won 64-60. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma State No. 4 guard Brian Williams passes the ball as No. 22 guard A.J. Walton reaches in during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla. on Saturday. Baylor won, 64-60.
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

By Jeff Latzke
Associated Press Sports Writer

STILLWATER, Okla. — Quincy Acy kept working, even when a 95 percent foul shooter went to the line late in the game.

Acy had 11 points and a season-best 12 rebounds, providing the go-ahead basket and a key offensive rebound down the stretch in No. 6 Baylor’s 64-60 win against Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Perry Jones III added 16 points and 11 rebounds and Pierre Jackson also scored 16 as the Bears (20-2, 8-2 Big 12) got their first win at Gallagher-Iba Arena since 2003, snapping an eight-game losing streak.

“It feels good. Every time we have left, we left with a loss,” Acy said. “It feels good to finally get one up here and it feels good to get one for coach (Scott) Drew.”

The Cowboys (11-12, 4-6) rallied from a nine-point deficit to take a 57-56 lead on Keiton Page’s wide-open 3-pointer from the right wing with 1:42 to play. It would be their only lead of the game.

After a timeout, Acy answered at the other end with a layup set up by Jackson’s drive.

“They’ve got so many offensive weapons,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. “We took a one-point lead and they just came right back down and scored. Poof! And we knew what they were going to do.

“They called timeout and I told them exactly what was going to happen. One hundred percent, they did exactly what we said they were going to do and our guys tried everything they could to stop it.”

Ford told his players to be prepared for Jackson to get a ball screen and either shoot, drive or pass the ball. He’d seen it in enough of Baylor’s close games already this season.

When Le’Bryan Nash rotated over to stop the drive, Jackson found Acy open under the basket.

“That was real big, to get the crowd back out of it because they got pretty loud. It was just a heads-up play by Pierre,” Acy said.

“Everybody knows he’s the guy who’s looking to take the big shot now. It says a lot about him for just reading the defense and dishing to the open person.”

Heslip followed with four straight free throws before a rare miss — just his second in 25 tries this season — with the Bears leading 62-60 with 6.9 seconds left.

Acy bounded along the left baseline to get the rebound, setting up Anthony Jones’ foul shots that closed it out with 2.8 seconds left.

“That’s a tribute to a good rebounder is always rebounding,” Drew said. “He could have said, ‘Brady missed one free throw all year. I’m going to take this one easy.’ He didn’t, and that’s what the great rebounders do.”

“I always assume a miss,” Acy said. “You just never know what happens.”

Brian Williams scored a career-high 23 points and Page added 15 for Oklahoma State, which was bidding to win back-to-back home games against top-10 opponents. The Cowboys pulled off the feat back in February 1992, the only other time they had hosted consecutive games against teams ranked that high.

This one might have been even more impressive than a 79-72 win over then-No. 2 Missouri last week. Since then, starting center Philip Jurick has gone down with an injured foot and point guard Cezar Guerrero was suspended for violating team rules.

The Cowboys already lost starter Jean-Paul Olukemi to a season-ending knee injury and two other point guards, Fred Gulley and Reger Dowell, left the team earlier this season.

Starters Markel Brown and Nash also missed the end of the first half after picking up three fouls. That left only five players who had logged even one minute of playing time in college.

“We couldn’t have played any harder. Our guys left it on the court. We could have made so many excuses for this game but our guys laid it on the line,” Ford said.

“I wouldn’t say we played particularly well but we played particularly hard. Once we got the one-point lead we never really made another play. We never really came up with a big rebound, a big stop or hit a big shot.”

Page missed a 3 from the left wing after Acy’s go-ahead bucket. He also failed in his attempt to draw a foul when Quincy Miller leaped into the air on his pump fake with the Cowboys down three.

“Every road game is a war, and you have to fight for it,” Acy said. “Teams play better at home and they showed that. We just fought and persevered.”

Baylor got out to a 17-6 lead in the opening 10 minutes but never could pull away.

Oklahoma State scored 10 of the first 12 points after halftime to tie it at 39 when Nash went weaving through the lane for a layup. Nash was whistled for his fourth foul on Baylor’s next possession, and Baylor scored the next nine points to go up 48-39 when Jackson swished a 3-pointer from the right wing with 10:20 left.

It still took a strong finish for the Bears to move to 7-1 this season in games decided by five or less — including five wins away from home.

“I would like to not be in this situation anymore,” Jackson said. “But if we get here again, I’m pretty confident in my team.”