By Daniel Hill
The Baylor Bears lost in an overtime duel to the No. 22 Oklahoma State Cowboys 69-67 in stunning fashion.
After a surprise upset win over No. 2 Kansas on Saturday, the Cowboys initially came out lethargic and fell behind to Baylor by six points early in the first half, 9-3.
Junior forward Cory Jefferson was accidentally hit in the eye while going for a rebound by Oklahoma State senior center Philip Jurick. Jefferon’s eye looked swollen and he had to leave the game momentarily. Jefferson came back with a vengeance and was unaffected by the injury as he posted a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
The Bears stretched their lead to 19-11 with 5:44 left in the first half. Then Oklahoma State went on an 11-0 run to lead 22-19. Before the half, the two teams traded scores to go into the locker room with Baylor trailing 22-24.
Early in the start of the second half, Baylor star freshman center Isaiah Austin was inadvertently hit in the jaw by his teammate Jefferson’s shoulder as the two vied for a rebound. Austin was clearly shaken from the impact and was forced to leave the game and head back to the locker room.
With Austin out of the game, the Cowboys surged to take a commanding lead in the second half. Finally Austin returned to the bench and was healthy enough to return to the court.
Down 56-43, Baylor started to get into the zone. Junior guard Brady Heslip made a 3-pointer. Senior guard Pierre Jackson followed with a three, a layup and an assist to Jefferson on a thunderous slam dunk to put the Bears within three points of the Cowboys.
Austin and Jefferson both hit jumpers to knot the game at 57-57.
Oklahoma State freshman guard Marcus Smart then made a difficult jumper to give the Cowboys a two-point lead.
With just six seconds left in regulation and down by two, Jackson drove quickly to the basket and was fouled during his shot attempt. Despite the raucous crowd, Jackson buried both of his free throws to tie the game and force overtime.
Jackson started the overtime session by putting on a show with six quick points on two 3-pointers.
Oklahoma State swished a three to tie the game at 67 with only 1:11 left in overtime.
With 17 seconds left, sophomore guard Deuce Bello grabbed a defensive rebound off Smart’s missed layup. Jackson then raced full speed down the court and passed to senior guard A.J. Walton on the baseline.
Walton attempted a layup but was blocked by Cowboys forward Michael Cobbins. With the possession, Oklahoma State passed up the court quickly to junior guard Markel Brown who sank the game-winning lay-up with 0.2 seconds left.
Baylor attempted to throw the ball the distance of the court, but the Cowboys caught the pass and time expired.
Jackson led all scorers with 24 points and eight assists. Austin led the Bears in rebounds with 12.
Baylor’s next game is at 3 p.m. on Saturday against Texas Tech at the Ferrell Center.