STILLWATER, Okla. -- Brady Heslip scored a season-high 20 points to help Baylor beat No. 8 Oklahoma State 76-70 on Saturday and end a five-game losing streak.
Rico Gathers scored 14 points, Gary Franklin scored all 11 of his points in the second half and Cory Jefferson had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Baylor (14-7, 2-6 Big 12), which greatly improved its fading NCAA tournament hopes. The Bears had scored fewer than 70 points in four straight games, but shot 52 per cent from the field and outrebounded the Cowboys 32-26.
Markel Brown scored 24 points and made 6 of 8 3-pointers, Le'Bryan Nash scored 19 points for Oklahoma State (16-5, 4-4), which lost to rival Oklahoma 88-76 on Monday night. Marcus Smart added 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Cowboys, but he made just 3 of 14 field goals.
Oklahoma State had rallied from a nine-point deficit to take the lead in the final five minutes before Franklin, who had scored just two points all game, drained three contested 3-pointers in just under three minutes to put Baylor in control.
After the third triple, Royce O'Neal stole the ball and took it in for a dunk to give Baylor a 74-67 edge with 37 seconds to play.
Baylor led 21-15 in the first half before Brown hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to give the Cowboys a jolt. Kamari Murphy, who averages 5.8 points per game, scored three baskets in 2:20 to help the Cowboys tie the score at 27.
Gathers converted a 3-point play, then dunked to give Baylor a 32-29 edge. Oklahoma State had a chance to take the lead at halftime, but Smart was called for his second foul on a post-up with 3.9 seconds left in the first half, and Baylor led 32-31 at the break. Oklahoma State shot 52 per cent in the first half but was outrebounded 17-12, missed four of nine free throws and committed nine turnovers.
The Cowboys finally took the lead on a pair of free throws by Brian Williams in the opening minutes of the second half, but Baylor gained it right back on a 3-point play by Austin.
Smart bounced the ball off a player's back while inbounding, caught it, then scored and was fouled. The free throw gave the Cowboys a 41-40 lead.
Baylor responded with a 6-0 run, including two baskets by Jefferson, to take a 46-41 lead, and the Bears extended that edge to 55-46 on a baseline jumper by Jefferson with just over 10 minutes to play.
Oklahoma State continued to battle. Smart stole the ball and went for a layup, but Baylor's 6-foot-8, 270-pound Gathers hit him hard on the way to the hoop and was called for a Flagrant 1 foul. Smart made both free throws with 7:09 remaining to cut the Bears' lead to two, then on the extra possession, Smart found Brown on a lob for a two-handed dunk to tie the score at 57. Smart finally gave the Cowboys a 64-63 lead on two free throws with just over four minutes to play.