Cowboys keep chopping, look to upset No. 1 Baylor

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Kalib Boone goes up to the hoop during the Oklahoma State vs. Baylor men's basketball game, on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.

The first time around, the Oklahoma State basketball team had a chance at the upset.

But with seconds left in the game, Yor Anei threw the ball away.

Had the Oklahoma State basketball team kept possession, they had a chance to tie the No.1 team in the country with a 3. Instead, Baylor went on to win, leaving OSU still searching for a Big 12 victory.

It has one now after topping TCU on Wednesday, but Mike Boynton and the Cowboys are looking for more. 

In recent weeks, Boynton has used the expression ‘Keep chopping wood’. He said the team has a chance to knock it completely down this weekend with a rematch against the No. 1 Bears.

“Well I think (the tree is) really, really trembling,” Boynton said after the TCU game. “But it may still be hanging on by a thread. Saturday will be a great opportunity to really knock it down.”

OSU will be making the trip to Waco on Saturday to try its hand at defeating the nation’s best.

It came out strong against Baylor in the two teams’ first contest last month in Gallagher-Iba Arena. OSU shot a blazing 57% from 3-point range in the first half.

The Cowboys led by 9 at halftime, but their shooting cooled down and couldn’t make enough plays down the stretch.

Despite the challenge in front of them, Boynton is excited for another shot.

“They’re the number one team in the country, on the road,” Boynton said. “What else do you need? If you can’t get yourself ready for that one… we only have one win in the league. If we still wanna accomplish something, we can’t get too excited about what happened (against TCU). 

The Cowboys also have a chance to be back at full strength.

Lindy Waters (nose) and Avery Anderson (back) were late scratches against TCU. It’s likely they will be back. It also seemed like Chris Harris’ leg injury, which he suffered against TCU, wasn’t serious and he could have returned if needed.

Maybe the biggest thing the players accomplished from the win against TCU was a confidence boost. They know now they can win in the Big 12.

Baylor is obviously a different kind of challenge, but OSU is feeling better right now than it has in a month.

Against such an elite foe, the Cowboys margin for error is small. They have to play a clean game and hit shots, something they haven’t done consistently, to have a chance. 

Regardless of their odds at a victory, they are going to keep chopping at that tree. 

“On Saturday, when the ball goes up, you gotta play with some courage,” Boynton said. “You gotta go out there and believe that you’ve worked hard enough to earn the opportunity to have success on game day.”

 

sports.ed@ocolly.com