STILLWATER, Okla. — After watching several road games slip away in the closing minutes, Baylor made sure it didn’t happen again against Oklahoma State.
With Manu Lecomte scoring 18 points and Nuni Omot hitting 14, the Bears hung on for a 67-56 win over the Cowboys for their first road win of the season Tuesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
The Bears (14-10, 4-7) had lost all six road games this season including five in the Big 12. But they shot 54.2 percent and held the Cowboys to 37.3 percent shooting to win their sixth straight game over Oklahoma State (14-10, 4-7).
“We’ve been close enough on the road and it’s great to break through,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew in his postgame radio interview. “I was glad to have that cushion down the stretch. They had some open looks, but to hold them to 37 percent is really good.”
After scoring a career-high 30 points in Baylor’s 76-60 win over Oklahoma State on Jan. 13 at the Ferrell Center, Lecomte was hot again as he hit seven of 12 shots with four of six from 3-point range.
Following Saturday’s 81-67 win over Iowa State at the Ferrell Center, the Bears have won consecutive Big 12 games for the first time this season.
“We needed that for everybody,” Lecomte said. “I think we learned a lot from the losses. You can’t give up and that’s what we’re all about. We know we can beat anybody. We just have to do the right things offensively and defensively and trust the process.”
Omot hit five of 11 shots including two of six from 3-point range while freshman Tristan Clark contributed 10 points despite foul trouble. Baylor won the rebounding battle 33-30 and hit all nine free throw attempts.
Baylor’s road win was especially impressive since Oklahoma State was coming off an 84-79 win over Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.
“I thought it was really important for us to get off to a quick start,” Drew said. “When we do, it keeps the crowd at a minimum for a while. The big thing was our transition defense. We did a good job because they’re usually good in transition.”
After trading baskets with the Cowboys most of the first half, the Bears took control with an 11-0 run just before halftime.
Trailing 30-28, Lecomte started the streak by nailing a jumper and then stepped outside and buried two straight 3-pointers. Omot followed with another 3-pointer as the Bears grabbed a 39-30 edge to take their first halftime lead in Big 12 play.
The Bears scored the first five points of the second half as Mark Vital drove inside for a basket and Lecomte drained his fourth 3-pointer to open up a 44-30 lead.
After going more than eight minutes without scoring, the Cowboys went on an 8-0 run that began with Mitchell Solomon’s hook shot followed by Lindy Waters’ bank shot and free throw.
Waters stayed hot and buried a 3-pointer to cut Baylor’s lead to 44-38 with 12:53 remaining. But the Bears responded with Clark’s basket in the paint and Vital’s two free throws to stretch the lead to 48-38 with 10:39 remaining.
“We did a great job defensively,” Lecomte said. “They made some really tough shots in the first half. But you can’t hit tough shots the whole game like that. We stayed calm the whole game, didn’t panic and adjusted.”
The Cowboys pulled within five when Kendall Smith drained a 3-pointer with 5:29 remaining to cut Baylor’s lead to 57-52. But the Cowboys didn’t score another field goal for more than four minutes as the Bears went on an 8-1 run.
Lecomte started the streak with a pair of free throws before Jo Lual-Acuil hit two more free throws. Omot rebounded his own shot and scored, and Jake Lindsey drove for a basket to give the Bears a 65-53 lead with 56 seconds remaining.