Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

February 1, 2014

OSU, Baylor square off while looking for confidence

After a deflating road loss to Bedlam rival Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State men’s basketball team must right the ship against an underachieving Baylor squad that has traditionally given Travis Ford’s squads fits.

Saturday’s game, which will be televised on ESPN at 1 p.m., features two of the top defensive teams in the Big 12 Conference with OSU giving up 67.1 points per game (second best in the league) and Baylor surrendering just 67.7 (third in the Big 12).

However, of late, Baylor has dropped its last five games and have given up an average of 73.2 points in those losses. But the Bears may be able to exploit OSU’s weakness — post play.

Baylor has three players averaging five rebounds or more and two players in Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson who have 57 and 31 blocks, respectively.

“We’re just going to have to figure something out, and soon, because they have some quality rebounders and we’re going to have to figure something out fast,” junior forward Brian Williams said.

But it’s not just on offense that the Cowboys will be hard-pressed against this Baylor frontcourt without the services of center Michael Cobbins, who is out with a season-ending injury.

Against Oklahoma on Monday, OSU had troubles on defense without the shot blocking Cobbins guarding the post.

“We used to be a tough group, and right now we haven’t really been playing as physical and haven’t been playing good defense — as far as moving our feet and keeping (players) in front of us,” senior guard Markel Brown said. “We have to find an identity for this ballclub going into Saturday’s game.”

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