The Associated Press
WACO, Texas — Pierre Jackson scored 18 points, including two 3-pointers and a tough inside basket in an 83-second span of the second half when Baylor regained control on the way to a 64-54 victory over Oklahoma State on Monday.
Jackson, the Big 12’s top scorer, had only five points in the game’s first 24 minutes before his quick eight-point spurt pushed Baylor ahead by 10 points. Unlike their double-digit lead in the first half, the Bears (13-5, 4-1 Big 12) held on this time.
Le’Bryan Nash had 24 points for the Cowboys (12-5, 2-3), including 10 in their 11-2 run going into halftime for a 28-27 lead.
Isaiah Austin (10 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks) and Cory Jefferson (11 points and 11 rebounds) both had double-doubles for the Bears.
A.J. Walton, Austin and Brady Heslip all hit 3-pointers in the first 312 minutes of the second half for Baylor, which never trailed again after that opening 10-4 spurt.
The Bears swept the season series against Oklahoma State for the first time last season, and now have their first three-game winning streak in the 70-game series.
Nearly three dozen NBA scouts and team executives had passes for the game featuring two of the Big 12’s top freshmen, Baylor’s 7-foot-1 Austin and the versatile Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart, the only Big 12 player who ranked in the top 20 in the league in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots.
Like Austin, Smart had a double-double. Smart had 12 points and 10 rebounds, along with seven assists and two steals.
Neither Jackson, who came in leading the league with 18.6 points a game, nor Austin played in the Bears’ 107-38 win over Division III Hardin-Simmons on Saturday.
Oklahoma State was coming off a lopsided Big 12 victory, 79-45 over Texas Tech.
After Nash’s jumper with 17:48 left put Oklahoma State up 32-31, Austin hit a 3-pointer and Baylor led the rest of the way. Jackson was way off from long range before Cory Jefferson blocked a shot that Jackson came up with and passed to Heslip for a 3-pointer.
Jackson finally got on track with a 3-pointer with 15:37 left, then hit another from long range before a tough inside shot with 14:14 left that made it 45-35.
Before halftime, Baylor led by as much as 23-13 after a jumper by Gary Franklin. That basket with 712 minutes left came right after a sequence when Austin had an inside basket and then blocked a shot.
But Nash scored 10 points over 412 minutes to put the Cowboys up 28-27.
The Cowboys had a quick lead when Smart made a 3-pointer from the top of the key on the game’s opening possession. They pretty much trailed after that until Nash’s two free throws with 1:50 left for a 26-25 lead.
Walton made a jumper to finally end a 4-minute scoring drought by the Bears, but Nash scored for the halftime lead.
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