Opponent: Baylor (9-6, 1-2 Big 12)
Date / Tipoff: Jan. 14, 2019 / 8 p.m. CT
Site: Gallagher-Iba Arena (13,611)
Tickets: Start at $5 at okstate.com/tickets or 877-ALL-4-OSU
Series: OSU leads 54-28 (26-8 in Stillwater)
TV: ESPNU (Kevin Connors, Chris Spatola)
Webcast: ESPN3.com or WatchESPN app
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 81, XM 81
Live Stats: okstate.statbroadcast.com (password: cowboys)
A breakout performance from freshman Isaac Likekele and another lockdown defensive gameplan helped Oklahoma State win at West Virginia for the third straight season. Likekele posted a career-high 23 points and nine rebounds, while the junior trio of Cameron McGriff, Lindy Waters and Thomas Dziagwa all reached double-figures to move their record to a perfect 3-0 in WVU Coliseum. Now the Cowboys turn their attention to Baylor, which has won six straight games over OSU. The Bears and their potent zone defense lead the Big 12 with 5.6 blocks per game and rank second in the conference with a +7.1 rebounding margin.
►On the Air
The matchup will air on ESPNU at 8 p.m. Central. Kevin Connors and Chris Spatola will handle the on-air duties. The webcast is available at ESPN3 or via the WatchESPN app. Dave Hunziker and John Holcomb will have the Cowboy Radio Network call, which can also be heard on TuneIn Radio or on satellite radio XM 386.
OSU employs a high-pressure, up-the-line defense that speeds up opponents and makes it difficult for them to run their sets, and the Cowboys have been their best in Big 12 play. OSU has held its conference opponents to 38.3 percent shooting, which ranks second in the Big 12, and a 22.9 percent clip from 3-point, which leads the league. The Cowboys limited Iowa State to 36.4 percent shooting, Oklahoma to 36.2 percent from the floor and Texas to 2-of-22 (.091) shooting from 3-point - all season lows for those opponents.
►Waters Making It Rain
Lindy Waters was 6-of-7 from 3-point last week, which helped vaulted himself into the program's top 25 for career 3-point makes. The junior's five 3-pointers against Texas are a career best, and his 5-of-5 performance is tied for the second most makes on a perfect shooting game in school history. Waters now has 101 career 3-point makes, which is good for 24th in school history. His 40.2 percent clip from 3-point ranks 11th in OSU history. Waters and fellow juniors Thomas Dziagwa and Cameron McGriff are on pace to become one of the most prolific sharpshooting classes OSU has ever seen. The trio is already responsible for 267 3-pointers on 39.4 percent shooting.
►The Series With The Bears
This will be the 83rd meeting between Oklahoma State and Baylor in a series that dates back to Feb. 7, 1918. The Cowboy lead the overall series, 54-28, although the Bears have won the last six meetings overall and four of the last five in Gallagher-Iba Arena. OSU is 26-8 against Baylor in Stillwater overall.
►Down To The Wire
While Baylor has taken the last six meetings with Oklahoma State, the games typically come down to the wire regardless of location. Eight of the last 12 games between these two schools were decided by nine points or less, including seven two-possession ballgames and two in overtime. Even in Baylor's current six game win streak over OSU the average margin of victory is 7.6 points. Despite Baylor's top-10 ranking in 2016-17, both meetings that season were decided in the final minute.
Baylor is off to a 9-6 start to the 2018-19 season, including an impressive 73-70 home win over No. 20 Iowa State on Jan. 8 and a 58-49 victory at Arizona on Dec. 15. The Bears employ one of the Big 12's toughest defenses thanks to a lengthy zone that has given opponents fits for years. Makai Mason leads BU offensively with 15.1 points per game. The Bears recently announced they would be without the services of star sophomore Tristan Clark, who suffered a season ending injury last week. Clark was second on the roster with 14.6 points per game and ranked third in the league with 2.4 blocks per game. As a team, Baylor leads the Big 12 with 5.6 blocks per game, and they're second in the league with a +7.1 rebounding margin.