No. 18 Oklahoma St. 81, Austin Peay 58

Sunday, November 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ If nothing else, Maurice Baker showed he's coachable.

Urged by Eddie Sutton and the other Oklahoma State coaches to get more aggressive on offense, Baker scored 29 points Saturday to lead the 18th-ranked Cowboys to an 81-58 victory over Austin Peay in the first round of the Las Vegas Invitational.

Baker, an all-Big 12 guard last season, also had 10 rebounds and eight assists. He was 10-of-18 from the field and sank all seven of his free throws.

``All fall he just wasn't as aggressive offensively as he was a year ago,'' Sutton said. ``We've told him, 'You've got to get where you're looking more and get more selfish offensively.' I thought today he did.''

Baker showed his versatility by scoring from the perimeter and also getting position inside and either scoring or getting fouled. Eight of his 10 rebounders were at the offensive end.

Ivan McFarlin had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Cowboys (2-0), who were playing just 16 hours after a bruising 69-62 victory over Cincinnati on Friday night. They now travel to Las Vegas, where they will play three games in three days beginning Monday against Providence.

Sutton said after the Cincinnati game that he expected some of his reserves to get significant minutes against Austin Peay. Instead, three starters played more than 30 minutes, led by Baker with 36.

``They can rest on the airplane tonight, I guess,'' he said.

Nick Stapleton scored 20 and Adrian Henning 14 for Austin Peay (22-10 last year), which took an early lead but wound up being outmanned and outgunned. The Governors shot just 43 percent and they were outrebounded 45-26. They also had 18 turnovers and missed 11 of 20 free throws.

``We did not get any leadership in terms of getting everybody involved and running our stuff,'' coach Dave Loos said. ``Our intention was good, but our execution was awful.''

Austin Peay will play Siena on Monday in Las Vegas.

Melvin Sanders, who had 12 points, sank a 3-pointer to cap a 10-0 run that gave the Cowboys the lead for good, 14-10. Another spurt later in the half saw Oklahoma State push a 22-18 lead to 35-20. Baker had two baskets during the run and assisted on two others.

The Governors outscored Oklahoma State 9-3 in the first four minutes of the second half to cut their deficit to 39-31, but Baker had two baskets in a 6-0 run that pushed the margin to 14. The closest Austin Peay got after that was nine points, 61-52 with 4:24 remaining.

The Cowboys sealed it by outscoring Austin Peay 12-4 in the next few minutes.