Baylor senior point guard Manu Lecomte found his rhythm and the Bears picked up the beat as they defeated Oklahoma State, 76-60, on Monday night at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
Lecomte scored 30 points, including 25 in the second half, to help Baylor (12-6, 2-4 Big 12) race past the Cowboys after halftime. Forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. finished with 12 points to join Lecomte in double-digits scoring.
The Bears’ multiple zone defenses frustrated Oklahoma State (12-6, 2-4) into 40 percent shooting, which wasn’t efficient enough to keep up with Baylor when it heated up on the offensive end in the second half.
Forward Cameron McGriff scored 16 points to lead Oklahoma State and guard Tavarius Shine added 14.
Baylor opened up an eight-point lead with a barrage from beyond the arc midway through the second half. Lecomte hit a pair of 3-pointers, sandwiched around guard Jake Lindsey’s trey, providing all the offense during a 9-2 spurt.
Lecomte broke out of a recent slump from 3-point range by hitting 7 of 12 triples. His fourth 3-pointer of the game gave Baylor a 42-34 lead with 12:37 left.
Baylor and Oklahoma State traded runs in the first half.
The Bears opened a double-digit lead with an 8-1 spurt in the game’s first nine minutes. Forward Terry Maston made a layup to cap the surge and boost Baylor to a 15-5 edge with 11:18 to go before halftime.
But then the Cowboys fired back with a 19-5 run, fueled by guard Thomas Dziagwa’s eight points and four more pitched in by forward McGriff.
Shine hit a 3-pointer to extend Oklahoma State’s largest lead of the first half to five with 3:14 left before the break.
Baylor shot just 38 percent in the first half, but the Bears’ zone defense kept the Cowboys to 40 percent shooting.
Oklahoma State outrebounded Baylor, 20-16, in the first 20 minutes, helping the Cowboys go to halftime with a 27-26 edge.
Oklahoma State will face No. 4 Oklahoma for the second time this season when the Cowboys play host to the Sooners on Saturday. Oklahoma (14-2, 4-1) defeated Oklahoma State, 109-89, on Jan. 3 in Norman, Okla.
Baylor travels to play No. 10 Kansas on Saturday.
—Field Level Media