Photo by Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports
Baylor Basketball

Flagler Carries Bears to OT, Akinjo Sinks Cowboys 66-64

February 21, 2022
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STILLWATER, Oklahoma — The No. 10 Baylor men’s basketball team (23-5, 11-4) earned a hard-fought overtime win Monday night against the Oklahoma State Cowboys (13-14, 6-9).

It took a career-high-tying 29 point effort from Adam Flagler to reach the extra period, but once there, his backcourt partner James Akinjo knocked down key shots to give the Bears their 11th conference win of the year.

It was a very trying game for the green and gold with Flagler playing through a knee issue, Akinjo not hitting a field goal before OT, and Flo Thumb and Jeremy Sochan dealing with some foul trouble.

The Bears even resorted to a zone defense for the majority of the second half due to defensive trouble and possibly some fatigue.

Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

In the first half, Baylor started off strong with a 10-2 run in the first 6 minutes, 5 of which came from Matthew Mayer, but Oklahoma State started finding soft spots in Baylor’s defense.

At the same time, Baylor began to struggle shooting the ball. James Akinjo tracked up 3 first-half turnovers as the offenses stalled.

The Cowboys took advantage and went on a 13-2 run to take a 22-27 lead. They had started the game shooting 0-9, but hit 9 of their next 10 shots. 

By halftime, the Bears were down 36-29 and looking for any rhythm on offense outside of Adam Flagler. The junior guard was a bright spot on offense for Baylor netting 15 points on 6-7 shooting. No other player scored more than 5 in the half.

After the break, Scott Drew decided to go with zone defenses to slow down the Cowboys attack, and it worked well holding the Pokes to just 24 points in the second half.

Couple the defensive improvement with Baylor’s effort on the boards, especially on the offensive end, and you get runs like the 8-0 run that gave Baylor a 49-45 lead with 9:30 left.

Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

From there it was a slugfest to the end. Oklahoma State’s Isaac Likekele was the leader for the Pokes, scoring 6 of their last 7 in regulation to constantly answer the Bears. He even made a circus shot after the shot clock expired on the Cowboys' last possession of regulation that got the crowd riled up. 

However, like a true heavyweight fighter, James Akijno and the Bears had a counter for each of Likekele’s answers. 

Despite his struggle through regulation, every Bear trusted Akinjo to step up when needed. After the game, Adam Flagler said, "We know what he’s capable of... and once he got going he pulled us through... He’s a killer”.

Akinjo made or assisted all three of Baylor’s overtime buckets, and Adam Flagler drew two charges in the extra frame that coach Scott Drew rightfully called “huge”.

Not to be forgotten, Matthew Mayer contributed 12 points and 6 rebounds, while Flo Thamba added 8 points and 7 boards.

The win keeps Baylor at second in the Big 12, half a game over Texas Tech, with ESPN’s College Gameday and the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks coming to town on Saturday.

That game will tip-off at 7 PM CT and will obviously be featured on ESPN.

Discussion from...

Flagler Carries Bears to OT, Akinjo Sinks Cowboys 66-64

2,637 Views | 9 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by BellCountyBear
MrGolfguy
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W
Well, I ain't no greenhorn!!
jdrs
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Adam Flagler is all class (his post game comments on ESPN are perfect example) and a pretty good basketball player too!
vanillabryce
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MM only played 24 minutes… 12 points 6 boards only 1 TO and 1 foul.
vanillabryce
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Amen
CTbruin
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Coach said Matthew was sick. Complimented him on performance not feeling well.
Big_Pumpin
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CTbruin said:

Coach said Matthew was sick. Complimented him on performance not feeling well.


I thought something was weird when he called to come out of the game and was really winded. Even putting his hands in his knees during an offensive possession.
TXBEAR_bf
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Ya, he called to come out of the game multiple times, I thought he was just winded. No doubt his shot started to get short towards the end of the first half. Overall he played a good game. We absolutely benefit from his length and ability to at least be a threat to score.
Bear living in the woods of Bend Oregon
vanillabryce
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Hadn't heard that - I wondered why he was waving to the bench so much.

Even further emphasizes the effort and guts to pull this one out.
BellCountyBear
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Love Adam Flagler!
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