Flagler scores 29, leads No. 10 Baylor past Oklahoma State

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Baylor guard Adam Flagler (10) watches as Oklahoma State forward Moussa Cisse (33) and Baylor forward Flo Thamba (0) battle for the ball during a basketball game- NCAA varsity ball on Monday, February 21, 2022 in Stillwater, Okla.  (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)

Baylor guard Adam Flagler (10) watches as Oklahoma State forward Moussa Cisse (33) and Baylor forward Flo Thamba (0) battle for the ball during a basketball game- NCAA varsity ball on Monday, February 21, 2022 in Stillwater, Okla. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)

PA

Baylor coach Scott Drew got the kind of performance he expects from guards Adam Flagler and James Akinjo.

Flagler scored a career-high 29 points, and Akinjo’s pull-up jumper with 14 seconds left in overtime provided the game-winning points as No. 10 Baylor beat Oklahoma State 66-64 on Monday night.

“James and Adam – I mean, that’s as good a backcourt as anybody in the country starting for us,” Drew said.

Flagler missed last Saturday’s game against TCU with a knee injury. He had 11 of 20 field goals and 7 of 13 3-pointers in his return.

“Our coach was the MVP of that game because he was able to get Adam back and play, and obviously he looked pretty good,” Drew said.

Flagler also drew two counts in overtime.

“These are huge, huge games,” Drew said. “The momentum is playing. But you can’t leave any doubts either. On the road, you get back-to-back calls. I mean, they have to be legit. You’re here. No questions asked. And Adam got on. put in this position to receive these calls.

Oklahoma State’s Isaac Likekele missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have won it.

Matthew Mayer added 12 points for Baylor (23-5, 11-4 Big 12).

Bryce Thompson scored 15 points and Moussa Cisse added 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for the Cowboys (13-14, 6-9) Oklahoma State beat Baylor 61-54 on Jan. 15 when the Bears were ranked No. 1.

Neither team scored early in the game until a Mayer layup with 17:32 left in the first half. Oklahoma State missed its first nine shots before Likekele’s bucket put the Cowboys on the board just over five minutes into the game.

Baylor opened with a 6-0 lead and extended their lead to 10-2 before Oklahoma State rallied. The Cowboys took their first lead, 21-20, on a Thompson pull-up.

Cisse’s alley-oop dunk off an assist from Thompson with 31 seconds left in the first half gave Oklahoma State a 36-29 lead — a score that held until the break. Thompson had 11 points in the first half and Cissé had three dunks in the three minutes before the break. The Cowboys have scored 15 of their last 21 field goals in the first half.

Flagler scored 15 points for Baylor on a 6-foot-7 shot in the first half, but his teammates went 6-for-24.

Baylor’s zone defense troubled Oklahoma State early in the second period and allowed the Bears to rally. An early 3-pointer from Flagler gave Baylor a 49-45 lead.

The game remained close the rest of the way, and Oklahoma State a possession in the final minute with the score tied at 60. Likekele appeared to throw a possible circus shot winner behind the basket with less than a second remaining. The crowd erupted and the Cowboys celebrated. Upon review, it was a shot clock violation and the game went to overtime.

Likekele never thought he got the shot in time.

“I just caught the ball and just threw it to the hoop,” he said. “All of a sudden I look at the clock and they counted it down as good.”

Drew said it was a good team of referees who made the right call. He didn’t think the shot would count, but he said weird things could happen.

“We’ve all been in these things where you disagree and then they say the game is over and everybody runs on the floor,” he said.

BIG PICTURE

Baylor: The Bears couldn’t afford to lose this one, especially since losing to the Cowboys earlier this season. It was a breakthrough win for Baylor, which has won two of three since losing top rebounder Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua to a season-ending knee injury.

Oklahoma State: This was Oklahoma State’s fifth overtime game this season. The Cowboys fell to 3-2 in them. They’ve been tough all season, despite being banned from playing in the playoffs.

1,000 POINT CLUB

Likekele reached 1,000 career points. He is the 44th Oklahoma State player to reach this milestone. He entered the game with 988 points and finished with 12.

PRESTI’S PRESENCE

Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti attended the game.

FOLLOWING

Baylor: Host Kansas on Saturday.

Oklahoma State: Visits rival Oklahoma on Saturday.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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