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Breaking down the numbers: OSU vs. Baylor

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WBB OSU vs. Baylor

Bryn Gerlich passes the ball as the OSU Cowgirls face off against the Baylor Lady Bears on Feb. 15, 2020 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma State women’s basketball team fell to Baylor 69-42 on Saturday. Here are the numbers that stuck out.

 

Vivian Gray’s 19 points

Early on, the Cowgirls (14-11 overall, 5-8 Big 12) played almost exclusively through Vivian Gray. In the halfcourt, they ran several Gray isolations from the elbows and pick-and-rolls with Gray and Natasha Mack. On a day where no one else scored more than seven points, Gray was asked to find ways to score, and she hit a ton of difficult shots against this tenacious defense. One of Gray’s biggest strengths is her ability to move without the ball and score that way, but there was no way to get her those easy looks against Baylor. It was all on tough, well-earned baskets.

 

Bryn Gerlich’s six points

The point total doesn’t jump off the page, but Bryn Gerlich was OSU’s third-leading scorer. But that’s not why she made this list. Gerlich made two deep 3-pointers in the final minute of play. While it obviously didn’t change the result of this game, it opened the gates for something else: promising shooting. Gerlich has been inconsistent from long range, but she’s shown serious flashes. If she can remain consistent from beyond the arc, she would provide the Cowgirls with some sorely needed spacing.

 

Natasha Mack’s seven points and 15 rebounds

Mack surprisingly had only two rebounds against the Lady Bears (23-1, 12-0) in the first matchup, but she followed it up with a vital 15-rebound performance this time around. But the double-double machine fell short in the scoring department with only seven points. The star forward is a load in the post, but she’s equally adept at stepping out and hitting the 12-footers — even with a hand in her face. But with Baylor’s imposing size and length, Mack was taken out of rhythm, which led to the struggles scoring.

 

Baylor’s 46 points in the paint

The Cowgirls play a great brand of defense, but the one place they’ve really been vulnerable is the 3-point line, which makes it all the more surprising that OSU was exposed on the inside. It speaks volumes about how adept the Lady Bears are at penetrating on dribble drives and getting to the basket at will or scoring on the low block — especially with Lauren Cox. The Cowgirls have typically been great at keeping teams from scoring in the paint, but not this time.

 

OSU’s 19 turnovers

The Cowgirls may not have the best offense, but they remain afloat by making smart decisions and being careful with the ball. That being said, Baylor’s defensive intensity was off the charts on Saturday. The Lady Bears stayed glued in one-on-one defense, fronted the post and doubled perfectly. They played the passing lanes incredibly and forced 19 turnovers against a generally cautious OSU squad, which made everything go haywire.

sports.ed@ocolly.com