Baylor's Thriller Over Oklahoma State Gives Life To Season

By Demario Phipps-Smith
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Just when it appeared as if Baylor had won an important Big 12 conference game, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were not ready to go home yet.

OKSU’s Leyton Hammonds stole Gary Franklin’s inbound pass and connected on a leaning three-point dagger to tie the game as time expired. It was impressive for Hammonds, a freshman, to hit the three as a bench player on the road. Coming off a double-overtime victory against Kansas State, it was Baylor’s turn to be on the ugly end of a game-tying desperation heave.

The Bears’ Cory Jefferson played especially well in overtime as he connected on a pivotal three-point basket to open overtime that swung the momentum.  He also notched two free-throws to seal the game for Baylor.

BU has won two big character-building games at home, but the question is whether or not it will translate into victories on the road as well. The Bears play at West Virginia and at No. 19 Texas coming up on the conference schedule.

The Mountaineers were able to steal a victory in Waco, Tex., but Baylor will be looking to even the season series with WVU and continue its hot streak. After a poor performance against Texas, West Virginia will be looking to rebound against Baylor so this has the makings of a hotly contested, tournament-type game.

If the Bears’ frontcourt travels with the tenacity they’ve been playing at home with recently, BU should prove problematic for the Mountaineers in the interior and post.

Regardless of the results of the WVU game, a win for Baylor against Texas would be a very attractive accomplishment for an NCAA tourney bid.

The first time these two teams met, the Bears were ranked. The tables have turned, but both teams are playing well as of late. Both teams are ranked within the top-20 in the nation for rebounding. However, Baylor is 4.5 games behind Texas in the conference standings and has to climb its way from the gutter of the conference.

As tournament time approaches, the last remaining games are critical for everyone in the Big 12—you can add the Baylor Bears to that mix.

DeMario Phipps-Smith is the writer of mid-major NCAA basketball content for Follow him on Twitter @demariopsmith or add him to your network on Google

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