WACO, Texas (AP) -- Oklahoma State just isn't satisfied.
No matter how well the Cowboys (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today; No. 10 AP) started, and despite
winning 81-63 at Baylor, all they seemed to focus on was how sloppy
they were at the end Saturday night.
"We played well for 30 minutes and then had a total meltdown,"
head coach designate Sean Sutton said. "Look at the really good
teams, when they get somebody down, they continue to play at a high
level. When we got up 31, we shut it down and went on cruise
John Lucas III scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half to
celebrate his final visit to the place where he started his college
career. He was one of five players in double figures for the
Cowboys (17-3, 7-2 Big 12).
"That always takes away everything," Lucas said. "We've got
to learn how to finish stuff off like that."
Lucas hit a 3-pointer on the game's opening shot. He didn't
score again until he had eight points in a span of 1:41 late in the
first half to give the Cowboys a 47-24 lead.
The Cowboys shot 74 percent (17-of-23) in the first half,
including 9-of-12 on 3-pointers. Even after missing their first
nine shots after halftime, they had a 20-point lead and still went
on to shoot 57 percent overall (28-of-49) and from 3-point range
"We played better than what we were. At the same time, we have
a veteran team and have high expectations," Sutton said. "We'll
continue to push, and one of the things we're trying to correct
right now is to play 40 minutes."
Especially with a rematch against No. 14 Oklahoma coming up
Monday night. Two weeks ago, Oklahoma State lost 67-57 against the
Sooners, who led 19-2 eight minutes into the game.
Baylor (9-10, 1-7) has lost five straight, a stretch that
started with an 82-53 loss at Oklahoma State three weeks ago. The
Bears have lost 15 of the last 16 in the series.
"We have to play a near-perfect game, and we need an elite team
to not have a good game," Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
Bruce, a point guard from Australia, made 11 of 18 shots,
including five 3-pointers, while scoring more than half of Baylor's
Lucas' only basket in the second half was a 3-pointer with 6:33
left. That gave the Cowboys a 68-40 lead.
Lucas began his career at Baylor, along with Lawrence Roberts
(Mississippi State) and Kenny Taylor (Texas). The trio left under
relaxed transfer rules before last season after a scandal under
former coach Dave Bliss that was exposed after the shooting death
of a player.
"I had fun," Lucas said, insisting he had no extra emotion.
"I just wanted to come in and win."
While Lucas played just 58 games in two seasons for Baylor, he
is seventh on the school's career list with 106 3-pointers and
ninth with 242 assists.
Baylor led 9-5 after Bruce drove through a crowded lane for a
layup and then made a free throw. But the Bears then went 10
minutes without a field goal -- missing 10 straight -- until Bruce's
3-pointer with 6:21 left.
"We came out with a lot of emotion," Drew said. "We did a
great job early, but then we got stuck. When we get stuck, we
haven't been able to stop runs."
It was win No. 772 for coach Eddie Sutton, whose team has all of
its wins this season by double figures. The Cowboys are shooting
better than 50 percent from the field this season.