With the way the Baylor Bears have been playing as of late, Oklahoma State appeared to have a big advantage heading into Saturday’s contest in Stillwater. Baylor’s deflating loss on Tuesday to West Virginia appeared to be the final nail in its coffin. Their 1-6 start in conference and five game losing streak had a promising team in a tailspin. With Kenny Chery being a last-minute scratch Saturday, Baylor’s prospects seemed dismal at best.
Apparently, they didn’t get the memo. Baylor seemed determined to end their losing ways the second they got off the bus, and went on to defeat the Cowboys 76-70. 3-point specialist Brady Heslip had a team-high 20 points. Heslip, the second-best 3-point shooter in the Big 12, was 6-of-13 from beyond the arc. He outdueled the best 3-point shooter in the conference, Phil Forte, who was held scoreless.
The biggest contribution to the victory came from Gary Franklin, who found himself in the starting lineup filling in for the injured Chery. He performed admirably, making the smart plays down the stretch. Franklin scored all of his 11 points in the second half. The absence of Chery did not faze the Bears. Franklin filled in seamlessly to give the Bears their first conference road win of the season.
Baylor still has a puncher’s chance in the Big 12 Conference. The Bears’ likelihood of winning the regular season crown is slim, but they can build their resume with a crucial stretch in conference play. If Baylor wants to prove that it still has more than a pulse in the Big 12, it must defeat Kansas at home on Tuesday.