Melvin Sanders scored a career-high 30 points for the Cowboys, who had beaten Baylor 11 straight times.
By OWEN CANFIELD
AP Sports Writer
STILLWATER, Okla. - What was supposed to be a tuneup turned into a train wreck for No. 13 Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys were beaten 74-72 Saturday night by Baylor, a team that had lost 22 straight road games and only last week had lost by 49 at No. 5 Oklahoma.
"I'd say this ranks as one of the 10 worst defeats since I started coaching," said Eddie Sutton, who has coached 1,003 games in 33 seasons. "We're better than Baylor, but that's what makes basketball a great game."
The Bears (11-10, 2-8 Big 12) made 14 3-pointers, one short of their season high, and held their composure after seeing a 15-point second-half lead turn into a five-point deficit in the late going.
John Lucas had 20 points, Kenny Taylor had 17 including what proved to be the game-winning basket, and Lawrence Roberts grabbed 20 rebounds for Baylor, which hadn't won a road game since beating Kansas State 63-55 on Jan. 13, 2001.
"We know we can play with any team in the Big 12," Lucas said. "We just have to come out and play with our heart and leave it on the court."
The Bears did that. They used an early 12-0 run to take a 13-4 lead and four times built the advantage to 15 points in the first half.
They twice led by 15 in the second half, the final time 52-37 with 17:36 remaining.
Melvin Sanders, who scored a career-high 30, made a 3-pointer to start a 10-0 run that got Oklahoma State (19-4, 8-2) to 52-47. The Cowboys stayed in range for the next several minutes, then put together a 14-2 spurt to take a 68-63 lead with 4:48 to play.
"Once we got ahead by five points, the game should have been over," Sutton said.
But Baylor didn't buckle. R.T. Guinn and Ellis Kidd hit consecutive 3-pointers to get the Bears within 70-69 with 3:06 remaining. Cheyne Gadson's follow shot at the 2:41 mark made it 72-69 and proved to be Oklahoma State's final basket.
Oklahoma State missed on its next trip, and Taylor hit a 3-pointer from the right baseline with 1:54 remaining to give the Bears the 74-72 lead.
After that, Gadson missed a jumper in the lane and Victor Williams missed two jumpers, the second one with about seven seconds left. Roberts grabbed the rebound but fell out of bounds, giving the Cowboys the ball with 4.4 seconds remaining.
Oklahoma State called a timeout, then Baylor called two more. Finally the Cowboys got the ball to Williams along the right baseline, but his short jumper was blocked by Corey Herring.
Roberts grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 0.3 seconds left. The Bears inbounded the ball and the buzzer sounded.
"To tell the truth, I wasn't sure what was going to happen tonight because we have a lot of young guys who haven't done things," coach Dave Bliss said. "We came into it full throttle and tried to just keep pushing the ball.
"I respect Oklahoma State's program unbelievably. For us to have a chance to win is neat. Our team hasn't had a lot of good things happen."
The Bears followed their 49-point loss to Oklahoma with a 21-point loss to No. 9 Kansas on Tuesday night.
"About every two days, a coach is ready to go out and play again," Bliss said. "The toughest thing is keeping your players' heads up because when you really get skunked a couple times, sometimes the wrong things come to surface.
"That's why coming back when we were down five is a remarkable accomplishment."
Sutton said it's possible his team, which had won 17 straight at home, was looking past Baylor to Wednesday night's matchup with Oklahoma.
"In this league, you better not look forward to anybody," he said.