STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Jared Butler scored 22 points and No. 2 Baylor rallied from a halftime deficit to beat undermanned Oklahoma State 81-66 on Saturday.
Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, the Big 12 Conference's leading scorer, did not play because of COVID-19 protocols. Key reserve Rondel Walker also sat out, leaving the team with eight players available.
The Cowboys still pushed the Bears, leading in the early minutes of the second half before Baylor took control. The Bears shot 53% after the break.
Mark Vital scored a career-high 19 points and Davion Mitchell had eight points and nine assists for Baylor (14-0, 7-0).
Kalib Boone scored a career-high 21 points and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma State (9-4, 3-4).
The Cowboys looked ready to perhaps follow their upset win against Kansas on Jan. 12 with an even bigger stunner. A dunk by Boone on a lob from Moncrieffe gave the Cowboys a 21-17 lead, leading Baylor coach Scott Drew to call a timeout.
A 3-pointer by Bryce Williams put the Cowboys up 26-20, and another 3 by Williams minutes later pushed Oklahoma State's lead to 34-25.
The Cowboys, paced by Boone's 11 points, led 36-32 at the half. Oklahoma State outrebounded Baylor 23-12 before the break.
Baylor tied the game at 36 on a layup by Vital in the first minute of the second half, and a 3-pointer by Butler put the Bears up 39-38.
Three consecutive 3s by Butler in a 75-second span put the Bears up 63-51, and they controlled the game from there.
Baylor: The Bears did what they had to do — they scratched out a win on the road in a hostile environment. The socially distanced crowd at Gallagher-Iba Arena was energetic and affected the game, especially in the first half.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys showed that they have the talent to compete with one of the nation's best teams even without one of the nation's best players.
Baylor hosts Kansas State on Wednesday.
Oklahoma State visits Iowa State on Monday.
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