Baylor-Oklahoma St. Preview
By ALAN FERGUSON
(AP) -- Markel Brown's best scoring performance of the season came at an opportune time for Oklahoma State, but he was hardly at his best last month against Baylor.
The junior guard for the newly 22nd-ranked Cowboys will try for a better showing in Wednesday night's rematch with the visiting Bears.
Brown, Oklahoma State's top scorer with 15.5 points per game, had 28 in the Cowboys' 85-80 upset over then-No. 2 Kansas on Saturday and tallied much of that total on a career-best seven 3-pointers.
Heralded freshman Marcus Smart matched a career high with 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds while helping end the Big 12-leading Jayhawks' 33-game home win streak and their NCAA-best string of 18 consecutive overall victories.
"It's a big win, winning at Kansas. That's one of the biggest wins of our season right now," swingman Le'Bryan Nash said. "It was a good win, but we still want more."
That victory pushed Oklahoma State (15-5, 5-3) back into the Top 25 for the first time since Dec. 31. The Cowboys fell out of the rankings during a stretch in which they lost four of six, capped by a 64-54 defeat at Baylor on Jan. 21.
Oklahoma State shot 34.9 percent and was 2 of 16 from 3-point range during its worst scoring performance of the season. Brown finished with just two points after going 1 for 10 from the field and 0 for 4 from beyond the arc.
With a season-high 24 points, Nash was the only Cowboys player to score more than 12. Smart, though, nearly had his program's third all-time triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
In his next matchup with Baylor, Smart will try to help end Oklahoma State's series-worst, three-game losing streak. The other two games were against Bears teams that were ranked in the top 10.
A 64-60 loss to then-No. 6 Baylor on Feb. 4, 2012, ended an eight-game home win streak in the series for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are 24-4 all-time in Stillwater against the Bears but have dropped eight of 12 overall matchups after winning 18 of 19.
In this meeting, Baylor (14-7, 5-3) will seek to avoid its first three-game losing streak since the end of the 2010-11 season.
In their latest game Saturday, the Bears allowed host Iowa State to go on a pivotal 11-3 run in the second half of a 79-71 defeat. Baylor trailed by only one point before the Cyclones pulled away for good.
"I thought they did a good chance of getting some second-chance opportunities. At the end of the day, I was disappointed we weren't a little better on the glass," said coach Scott Drew, whose team was outrebounded for the first time in five games.
Baylor leads the Big 12 with an average of 39.9 rebounds in conference play while Oklahoma State is fourth with 35.9 per game. The Bears posted a 38-36 edge on the boards against the Cowboys last month.
Baylor boasts the conference's top rebounder in 7-foot-1 freshman Isaiah Austin (9.4 per game) and its top scorer in senior guard Pierre Jackson (19.1 ppg), who has at least 20 points in three consecutive games.
Jackson scored eight of his 18 points against Oklahoma State in an 83-second span after tallying only five through the first 24 minutes. Austin had 14 rebounds, 10 points and five blocks while Cory Jefferson swatted away six shots while posting 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Updated February 5, 2013