“They've got very good guards in Pierre Jackson and (A.J.) Walton, those are very good players,” Smart said. “We just kind of let them get comfortable. We talked about it all week, not letting them get comfortable. They got comfortable in that stretch.
“They hit some big shots at big key moments that were game-changers.”
Smart earned some respect in his own right.
“I think we have to contribute some of that to Marcus Smart,” Bears coach Scott Drew said of Jackson's early struggles. “He's one of the best defensive players in the country and leads the Big 12 in steals, and he's tenacious.
“I thought they had a good game plan. Oklahoma State didn't really let us get a lot of good looks, and Pierre had to earn what he got.”
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: NASH
One positive in the OSU loss was the play of Le'Bryan Nash, who scored a season-high 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the floor.
Taking a cue from his play at the start of the season, Nash succeeded by taking the ball aggressively to the hole, scoring over and around Baylor's big men, frequently going to his left hand to finish plays.
“He played well,” said Ford. “LB played well, did some good things to help our basketball team. He was aggressive offensively. He did some good things.”
Saturday: West Virginia, noon
Jan. 30: Iowa State, 7 p.m.
Feb. 2: at Kansas, 3 p.m.
BY JOHN HELSLEY