Smith’s 19 points help No. 5 Baylor top Oklahoma State 65-58
Feb 23, 2022, 4:39 AM | Updated: 7:49 pm
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — NaLyssa Smith had 19 points and 15 rebounds, and No. 5 Baylor beat Oklahoma State 65-58 in women’s basketball on Wednesday night.
Sarah Andrews scored 17 points and Queen Egbo added 13 points for the Bears (22-5, 12-3 Big 12), who won their seventh straight and remained tied with Iowa State for the conference lead.
It wasn’t the dominant performance the Bears put forth in a 67-49 home win over Oklahoma State on Jan. 19, but it moved the standings just the same.
“It was definitely an eye opener for our group,” Baylor coach Nikki Collen said. “But, you know, sometimes you’ve got to find a way, especially on the road. And I thought at least we did that. We found a way. We stayed composed. We got stops when we needed to.”
Lexy Keys scored 13 points and Lauren Fields added 12 for Oklahoma State (8-16, 3-12). Fields, who was Oklahoma State’s scoring leader for the season with 16.5 points per game, was held to 4-for-23 shooting.
The Cowgirls shot 30.7% overall.
“We’re just not consistently shooting the basketball well,” Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell said. “And if you want to beat the number five team in the country, you’ve got to have a good night shooting the basketball. I thought we did everything pretty well except for her shoot the ball. But that’s that’s what goes up on scoreboard. And that was the difference in the ball game.”
The weather was so bad that the Bears arrived on Tuesday and don’t plan to head back to Waco, Texas until Thursday night. With snow on the ground and the temperature hovering near 15 degrees, attendance was just 423.
The Bears weren’t focused early. Oklahoma State ran out to a 7-0 lead. Baylor missed its first four shots and didn’t score for 3 1/2 minutes to start the game. Baylor bounced back and led 12-11 at the end of the first quarter.
“I told them that I felt like we were more concerned about having a snow day and having like a snow party than winning a basketball game,” Collen said.
Baylor made 8 of 12 shots in the second quarter to lead 34-25 at halftime. Smith, who went 1-for-5 from the field and scored two points in the first quarter, went 4-for-4 from the field and scored 10 points in the second.
“Played much, much better in the second quarter,” Collen said. “I thought that was our best quarter from an execution perspective.”
Baylor pushed the margin out early in the third quarter. A 3-pointer by former Oklahoma State guard Ja’Mee Asberry put the Bears up 39-25.
Oklahoma State rallied late in the third. A fast break layup by Kassidy De Lapp cut Baylor’s lead to 44-43 and prompted a Bears timeout.
Baylor responded by closing the quarter on a 7-0 run that included two 3-pointers by Andrews to take a 51-43 edge into the fourth. Oklahoma State got no closer than four points the rest of the way.
Baylor: A loss would have been disastrous in the Bears’ quest for a No. 1 seed, but they got the win. Baylor’s 6-foot-4 Smith and 6-3 Egbo bothered Oklahoma State’s offense. The Cowgirls made just 15 of 54 shots inside the 3-point line.
Oklahoma State: The Cowgirls have come up just short in several close games. This might have been their best effort of the season, especially considering how Fields shot.
Collen on Oklahoma State’s transition defense: “I’ll tell you one thing about Oklahoma State — they keep pursuing. They don’t quit playing in transition. So they did a good job, even when we had numbers, of filling in from behind and never giving up on plays.”
Oklahoma State’s Taylen Collins had a career-high six steals. The Cowgirls scored 26 points off Baylor’s 19 turnovers.
Baylor: Hosts Kansas on Saturday. The Jayhawks were 26th in votes for this week’s AP Top 25.
Oklahoma State: Visits West Virginia on Sunday.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: twitter.com/CliffBruntAP
More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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