Gallagher-Iba Arena is the site of one of the best games in college basketball tonight as the no. 6 Baylor Bears face the Oklahoma State basketball team.
We are nearing tip-off between the Oklahoma State basketball team and the no. 6 Baylor Bears. The game starts at 6 p.m. CT at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater with the Pokes as 1.5 point favorites and an over/under of 145 points.
The Pokes enter this matchup with a record of 15-8 (4-6 Big 12), while the Bears enter with a record of 20-3 (7-3 Big 12). Moreover, OK State has the potential to win six in a row and two straight against ranked teams.
Keys to victory for Baylor include dominating the glass, limiting turnovers, and shooting the ball well. The Bears did not do two of those three things very well in their last loss against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Baylor relies very heavily on two players, senior forward Johnathan Motley and junior guard Manu Lecomte. Motley and Lecomte are the only two players on BU’s roster that average better than 10 points per game. Lecomte is the team leader in assists with 4.3 per game and Motley leads the team in scoring and rebounds with 16.2 points per game and 9.8 rebounds.
OK State’s keys to victory include limiting turnovers, staying out of foul trouble, and shooting well behind the three-point line. The Cowboys did two of those three things well in their last victory against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
The matchup between star sophomore point guard Jawun Evans and Lecomte is maybe the most important to pay attention to tonight. Evans is the main reason why the Pokes have won five consecutive, but one bad performance could cost them the opportunity at a victory.
Senior shooting guard Phil Forte sealed the victory last week over the Oklahoma Sooners and he’ll need another solid performance tonight. Forte posted more than 10 points in each of the last three games.
Senior forward Mitchell Solomon and freshman center Lucas N’Guessan are likely to have their hands full tonight with Motley in the paint. Solomon got the last few starts in the front court as N’Guessan experienced reduced minutes. That likely resulted from N’Guessan getting into foul trouble even with those limited minutes and more need for development.
Freshman forward Cameron McGriff and freshman guard Lindy Waters III have both seen their roles increase as well. Yet, no player in the rotation has stepped up as much as sophomore guard Davon Dillard of late. His athleticism and talent on both ends of the floor are somewhat of a spark plug off the bench for the Pokes.
The Bears are one of the deeper teams in the Big 12 so the Pokes need the entire rotation to step up. Head coach Brad Underwood’s freshman class looks better and better each passing week.
Win or lose, this game is a must-watch for any Pokes fan tonight. Their last contest with BU ended in a 61-57 defeat in Waco. Yet, the Cowboys are the hottest team in the Big 12 and have a great chance at coming out on top tonight.
Oklahoma State 64, Baylor 60