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Unbearable: OSU Losing Streak Reaches Seven In Loss At Baylor

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WACO, Texas -

You can't fault the effort but the result remained the same.

For the second-consecutive game, Oklahoma State left its collective heart on the floor but it wasn't enough to overcome the massive deficiencies in the Cowboys' lineup. And, once again, OSU couldn't find the answers in crunch time as tired legs failed to carry the Pokes back into the winner's circle.

The final score: Baylor 70-64 in overtime. But the historical ramifications of this most-recent defeat are a gut punch to Orange Nation.

Oklahoma State, a preseason conference title favorite and Final Four contender, has now lost seven-consecutive games and is on sole possession of ninth in the 10-team Big 12.

The seven consecutive losses marks the Cowboys' worst losing streak since the 1972-73 season. For a little perspective, Travis Ford was 4 years old, the Miami Dolphins went undefeated, the Watergate scandal began and Aerosmith released its debut album.

Even though the losses are starting to blur together, this one could arguably be the most painful of the bunch and not just because of the alarming streak, but because of how close it was to ending.

Markel Brown was a one-man wrecking crew with 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting and played every one of this contest's 45 minutes like they were the last of his career.

Oklahoma State led by 10 in the second half against a Baylor team dealing with plenty of its own struggles.

The Cowboys held Brady Heslip to six points and Rico Gathers to zero after the duo combined for 34 against No. 8 OSU on Feb. 1 in Stillwater.

Leyton Hammonds stole a pass and buried a contested 3-pointer to force overtime as time expired. It was his first made 3 since the season opener.

And still, it wasn't enough.

In OSU's seven-game slide, it has had a lead in the final five minutes in six of them. That speaks to the lack of depth that has aided in derailing a once-promising Cowboys campaign.

No Cobbins. No Smart. No Clark. As a result – no energy at the end. That was the case again on Monday.

After Baylor fought back from a 38-28 deficit to take a 54-52 lead, Phil Forte stepped up and buried a 3-pointer with 3:22 remaining to put OSU up by one.

And then fatigue took its toll.

OSU would only connect on one shot the rest of regulation, which was Hammonds' desperation heave to force overtime. The Cowboys only made two shots in overtime, both coming off deep jumpers from Brown.

But fatigue was certainly not the sole factor, as Baylor outscored OSU 28-18 in the paint and had a resounding 16-1 edge in second-chance points thanks to a whopping 22 offensive rebounds against the undersized Pokes.

Brown led the way for OSU (16-10, 4-9 Big 12) with his 26-point effort along with six points and four rebounds, while Forte scored 20 but struggled on 5-of-17 shooting. Nobody else scored more than six for the Cowboys, which was Le'Bryan Nash on a horrific 2-of-12 shooting night in which he was saddled with foul troubles.

Baylor (17-9, 5-8) was paced by a pair of double-doubles from its interior duo of Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin. Jefferson bulldozed his way to 25 points and 13 rebounds on 8-of-12 shooting and 8-of-11 from the foul line. Austin finished with 12 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for the Bears, who won their third-consecutive game.

OSU returns to Stillwater on Saturday to face Texas Tech at 12:30 p.m. Smart will be back in the lineup after serving his three-game suspension.

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