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Baylor Basketball

Baylor's strong second half performance leads to 81-66 blowout of OSU

January 23, 2021

STILLWATER, Okla. — The No. 2 Baylor men’s basketball team exploded in the second half to beat Cade Cunningham-less Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Saturday, 81-66. 

The Bears boasted a second half for the ages. Remember that insurance commercial where the fisherman waves cash in the face of that lady who’s purse shopping then yanks it away to utter the famous line, ‘ope, you gotta be quicker than that?’ Yeah, this was that, except on a basketball court. 

Highway robbery — the best way to describe the Bears stealing a win by such a large margin after trailing for so long. After falling behind by as many as eight and trailing for 20:26 of gameplay, the good guys exploded thanks to Jared Butler catching absolute fire. A strong final 12 minutes in this game made the difference, and Butler’s 22 pushed Baylor over the top. 

Breaking down the first half, the opening 20 was a stark contrast to the beginning of last week’s Kansas games. That said, you didn’t do near enough study on this game if you were dramatically surprised that the Bears trailed early on — with or without Cunningham, Oklahoma State is spectacular at building early leads. 

By the numbers, Baylor shot just 13-31 and only got to the line four times in comparison to the Cowboys 12. Moreover, the Green and Gold was out rebounded 23-12 and trailed the points in the paint battle 22-12 to find itself behind 36-32 at the break.  

As for the second half, wow. If you’re privy to movies that star sad cowboys roaming the plains with little to no hope in sight, you were giddier than Pecos Bill in Kansas during springtime — especially when Baylor went on a 19-1 run in the middle of the half. As I’ve said all year long, if it needs to be done to win, the Bears will do it. 

In the final 20 alone, Butler put up 15 on 5-5 from deep and was aided by 12 from a red hot Mark Vital — yeah, that guy is out of his mind right now. Baylor went on to notch 20 points in the paint, 15 second chance points and 12 fast break points in the second half en route to a 1.44 point per possession mark. Outscoring the Cowboys 49-30 late, Baylor took the 81-66 dub.

There really was no surprise for me that Oklahoma State led early, but Baylor was certainly due for one of their signature runs to blow this one away. Vital notching 19 points on 8-9 shooting with two steals and two blocks also didn’t hurt the team’s chances. The Bears found a way again. 

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