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January 6, 2007

OK State survives late rally, beats Baylor

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STILLWATER, Okla. -Mario Boggan overcame foul trouble to score 26 points and grab 13 rebounds - his fourth double-double of the season - and No. 12 Oklahoma State opened Big 12 Conference play with an 81-77 victory over Baylor on Saturday.

JamesOn Curry added 20 points for Oklahoma State (15-1), which has won four straight since its only loss, by two points to Tennessee on Dec. 18.

Baylor (10-4) had a four-game winning streak snapped. The Bears lost their conference opener for the fifth straight season and extended their losing streak against ranked teams to 24 games, a run that dates to a win over Oklahoma State in 2003.

Baylor is 4-35 in its last 39 road games.

The Bears, who trailed by double digits for most of the second half, hit six 3-pointers in the final 4:21 - five by Tweety Carter - and pulled within 77-74 with 17 seconds left on two free throws by Curtis Jerrells.

But Curry went 4-of-4 from the free throw line after that to seal the win.

Baylor, which entered the game shooting 50.3 percent from the field - eighth in NCAA Division I - shot 41.7 percent against Oklahoma State, but reached that percentage in strange fashion, hitting 25.8 percent in the first half and 58.6 percent in the second half.

Kevin Rogers scored 18 points to lead the Bears, while Carter had 15.

The Cowboys committed only one turnover in the first 11 minutes but struggled to break away from Baylor, leading 17-16 with 10 1/2 minutes left. Then Curry hit two 3-pointers in a 12-2 run that put the Cowboys up 29-18 at the 5:15 mark.

Boggan scored 15 points in the half as Oklahoma State led 37-24. It was Baylor's lowest-scoring first half of the season and the Bears had only one basket in the final 8 1/2 minutes.

Even a technical foul on Baylor coach Scott Drew with 18:30 left didn't seem to do much for the Bears, as Oklahoma State pushed its lead to 50-34 by the 13:56 mark on a 3-pointer by Terrel Harris.

Baylor scored the next seven points, but Marcus Dove fed Cooper for a dunk, then came up with a steal and a dunk of his own, putting the Cowboys up 54-41 with 11:27 left.

Baylor trailed by double digits until the final 5 minutes.

Boggan left the game after picking up his fourth foul with 13:14 left and didn't return until 6:35 remained. He and Curry, who both have scored in double figures in all 16 games, entered the game averaging a combined 40.6 points a game, the second-highest average for a pair of teammates in Division I.

Harris, a sophomore guard, returned to the Oklahoma State lineup after a one-game absence. Harris missed the Cowboys' win Tuesday over Southwestern Oklahoma State with what school officials have described as a non-sports-related eye injury. He wore a protective mask against Baylor and scored 13 points in 23 minutes.

The Bears played without starting sophomore center Mamadou Diene, who is battling tendinitis in his knee and a sprained ankle. Freshman Josh Lomers started in Diene's place but did not score.

Byron Eaton added 10 points for Oklahoma State, which outrebounded Baylor 43-32. Kenny Cooper had eight points and 11 rebounds for the Cowboys, with 10 of those coming on the offensive end. Cooper's double-digit rebounding effort was the first of his career.

For more coverage of Baylor, visit .com; for more on Oklahoma State, visit OState.com.

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