KANSAS CITY, Mon. (AP) – Cade Cunningham scored 25 points, Avery Anderson III added 20, and No. 12 Oklahoma State was nearly perfect off the foul line on track as he finished second …
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KANSAS CITY, Mon. (AP) – Cade Cunningham scored 25 points, Avery Anderson III added 20, and No. 12 Oklahoma State was near perfect off the foul line on track as he finished runner-up on Friday night Baylor 83-74 defeated Big 12 tournament semifinals.
Rondel Walker also had 11 points for the No. 5 Seed Cowboys (20-7) who will play for the title against No. 13 Texas on Saturday night.
The third-occupied Longhorns competed the previous Friday when their semifinal against Kansas No. 11 was canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test that forced the Jayhawks to withdraw from the tournament. While the Cowboys have two Big 12 tournament titles under their belt, Texas has never won the event with six appearances in the finals.
The Bears have never won a conference tournament title either – and will not do so this year. They stay 3-0 in the Big 12 tournament title game for at least another year after winning their first regular season championship since 1950.
MaCio Teague scored 17 points and Jared Butler had 16 for the Bears ( 22-2) who had won 10 of their last 11 against the Cowboys after sweeping them in the regular season. Davion Mitchell also had 13 points for coach Scott Drew’s side.
Baylor was just under six minutes ahead of 65-60 as Cunningham scored two consecutive goals to give Oklahoma State the lead. That started a back and forth affair until Anderson drove to a layup and was fouled by Baylor’s Mark Vital with 2:09 to go. Anderson took the free throw to give the Cowboys a 73-72 lead, and they never followed again.
They landed 21 of 26 from the foul line and made 13 of 14 when the game went on in the second half the line was.
The Bears struggled to get out of a three-week hiatus for COVID-19, beat the state of Iowa, and lose their only game in Kansas before heading up to three straight wins against their senior opponents of the tournament took to the track.
The bears got off to a quick start, but Oklahoma State responded immediately and gradually moved ahead. Anderson went ahead and continued his hot postseason – he scored 17 points in a quarterfinal win over West Virginia No. 10 – by adding 13 points in the first half. His summer beating layup gave the Cowboys a 35-30 lead during the break.
Teague and the Bears heated up in the second half. The sharp-shooting senior hit a 3-pointer and a jumper in quick succession, and then his return from Butler’s miss put Baylor 7 1/2 minutes ahead of 60-52.
Cunningham answered for the Cowboys, scoring a few minutes 3s later in a row as they regained the lead.
The teams swapped the lead four more times in the last four minutes before the Cowboys put them down.
Oklahoma State improved to 3-0 in the conference tournament against Baylor , and the cowboys showed their demeanor on the track again. They improved to 15-4 in games decided by 10 points or less.
Baylor has had a tough late season after his COVID-19 break trying so many makeup games to play as possible. The Cowboys have been their sixth opponent in the last six games.
The Cowboys face Texas in the championship game. Oklahoma State shared the season with the Longhorns, losing a 77-74 walker in December before winning a 75-67 double overtime thriller early last month.
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Percentages: FG .391, FT .714.
3-point goals: 6-18, 333 (Reed 2-5, Gregg 1-1, White 1-1, Zelenbaba 1-3, Massner 1-4, C. Jones 0-1, Teasett 0-3).
Team rebounds: 1. Team sales:…
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