No. 6 Oklahoma St. 68, Baylor 57

Wednesday, January 9th 2002, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

WACO, Texas (AP) _ Maurice Baker is starting to feel better, and so is No. 6 Oklahoma State.

Baker still isn't fully recovered from a groin injury, but he made his last four shots _ including consecutive baskets to put Oklahoma State ahead to stay _ as the Cowboys beat Baylor 68-57 Tuesday night.

``I had a big turnover, I knew I had to do something to give the team a lift,'' Baker said of his late field goals. ``I moved good out there, but I took a few cuts that I had to slow down a bit. But I'm getting close to being healthy.''

Three days earlier, Baker didn't start for the first time in his career and played just 11 minutes as Oklahoma State (14-1, 1-1 Big 12) lost 70-61 to Texas and joined the three other remaining undefeated teams in losing last weekend.

``We do feel a lot more comfortable when Mo is out there,'' said Melvin Sanders, who had 15 points to lead the Cowboys. ``Against Texas, we had nobody to look for. This game, we had Mo to look at for big shots, and he made them.''

Baker's turnover led to Matt Sayman's layup that put Baylor (11-4, 1-1) ahead 54-53 with about seven minutes left. Baker came right back to make a long jumper at the other end to put the Cowboys ahead for good.

After a Baylor miss, Baker drove the baseline for a reverse layup and Oklahoma State held lead.

Baker made just one of his first nine shots before a 3-pointer with 11:30 left that made it 42-40. That was Oklahoma State's first lead of the second half and came not long after Baylor had a seven-point lead.

There were three ties and four lead changes over the next five minutes before Baker took control of the game.

``When he's on the floor, he gives our team a comforting feeling,'' Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said.

Baker, who said he is about 80 percent healthy, finished 5-of-13 from the field and had 12 points in 37 minutes. He was hurt in practice following an 82-70 win over Ball State on Dec. 29.

Victor Williams added 13 points for Oklahoma State, while Ivan McFarlin had 10 rebounds, his fourth straight game with at least 10.

Baylor led 35-28 early in the second half after Lawrence Roberts made a putback and free throw and Wendell Greenleaf made a 3-pointer. The teams then traded baskets before the Cowboys started their comeback.

``Down the stretch, they made the big plays,'' Baylor coach Dave Bliss said. ``We did about all we could do. They did a good job of finding the open man in the second half.''

Roberts led Baylor with 12 points, while Greenleaf and John Lucas both had 11.

The Bears had won their first nine home games, including a 79-74 victory over Iowa State in their Big 12 opener Saturday. But just like last year, after Baylor won its first 10 home games, Oklahoma State broke the streak.

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