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Bears savor stunning victory over OSU

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STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Baylor coach Dave Bliss had every reason to cut up.

``Coaches enjoy victories,'' he said. ``I always love coaches who say, 'I feel glad for my players.' Heck, I'm glad for me.''

Bliss hasn't had much to savor in four seasons at Baylor, but that changed Saturday night. One week after losing by 49 at Oklahoma, the Bears pulled off the biggest upset in the Big 12 this season, beating No. 13 Oklahoma State in Stillwater, 74-72.

Baylor had lost 22 straight road games dating to January 2001. The Bears had lost 11 in a row to Oklahoma State, which has one of the strongest homecourt advantages in the country.

Yet Baylor (11-10, 2-8 Big 12) took it to the Cowboys from the start, repeatedly beating them downcourt for lay-ups or open jumpers in building as much as a 15-point lead. The Bears had eight 3-pointers in the first half and added six more in the second.

Perhaps most impressive, they didn't crumble after Oklahoma State (19-4, 8-2) rallied in the second half, using a 14-2 run to take a 68-63 lead with 4:48 remaining.

After all, this was a team that had lost eight of its first nine conference games. Some were tough losses _ OSU needed overtime to beat Baylor in Waco, and the Bears lost by just eight at Missouri and by four at Iowa State.

But then there was last week's awful two-game stretch _ first the 91-42 loss to Oklahoma, then a 21-point loss at home to Kansas.

Even Bliss doubted whether his team could regroup against the Cowboys in the closing minutes.

``I thought we might lose by 11,'' he said, half joking. ``To tell you the truth, we were kind of upset in huddle, all of us, the players and the coaches, because we kind of wilted there and let them get control of it.''

The Bears didn't wilt for long. After making just one field goal in a nearly six-minute span, they rallied. R.T. Guinn hit a 3-pointer, then Ellis Kidd made one to get Baylor within 70-69.

A basket by Cheyne Gadson with 2:41 left made it 72-69 but proved to be Oklahoma State's final points. John Lucas, who scored 20, stripped the ball from Andre Williams and laid it in for a basket, and moments later Kenny Taylor made the Bears' final 3-pointer, from the right baseline with 1:54 left for a 74-72 lead.

Baylor had a turnover and missed a shot after that. But Oklahoma State missed four shots _ a short jumper by Gadson and three jumpers by Victor Williams. The last miss was actually a blocked shot, on a jumper from the right baseline on the Cowboys' final shot of the game.

Lawrence Roberts, who grabbed 20 of the Bears' 41 rebounds, said the turnaround from one week earlier resulted from ``just going out there with a different attitude, knowing we had to come in and compete and play hard.''

``We wanted to go out there and execute and play the ball we can play.''

The game was supposed to be a break in the schedule for Oklahoma State, which plays at Oklahoma on Wednesday night before returning home for games against Texas and Texas Tech.

Instead, it was a loss that hurts the Cowboys' chances for a Big 12 title and damages their RPI ranking, which is an important factor in NCAA tournament seedings.

Eddie Sutton called it one of the 10 worst defeats in his 33 years of college coaching. None of his players spoke with the media afterward.

``I'm sure our guys were looking forward to Oklahoma, which you can't ever do in basketball,'' Sutton said. ``Not in a league like this.''
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