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Lucas plays well against former team

2/15/2004

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- The future looks brighter than ever for
John Lucas and Oklahoma State.

The team Lucas left behind, however, will likely have more hard
times ahead.

Lucas, playing in his first game against Baylor since
transferring from there last summer, scored 13 points and had four
assists Saturday to lead No. 10 Oklahoma State to a 91-58 rout of
the overmatched Bears.

"It was just another game to me," Lucas said. "It was cool to
see them out there on the floor, but I only knew three or four of
them."

Only Terrance Thomas, R.T. Guinn, Matt Sayman and Corey Herring
remain from the team that Lucas led to a 74-72 upset of then-No. 13
Oklahoma State last year.

Things couldn't be more different for both teams now.

The Cowboys (19-2, 9-1) won their ninth straight game and took
sole possession of first place in the Big 12 after No. 11 Texas was
upset 78-77 at Iowa State.

Baylor (7-16, 2-8), which is in the midst of a grueling
three-game stretch against three Top 25 teams, suffered its worst
loss of an already difficult season.

Oklahoma State, coming off an 80-60 win over No. 12 Kansas and
looking ahead to Monday's matchup against archrival Oklahoma,
didn't waste much time turning this one into a rout.

"Being squeezed in between Kansas and Oklahoma, you would think
they might overlook us a little," Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
"Obviously, that was not the case."

The Cowboys opened the game with a 17-2 run and extended that
into a 43-14 halftime lead. Baylor made just five of 34 field goals
(15 percent) and its two leading scorers -- Harvey Thomas and
Terrance Thomas (no relation) -- were held to two points in the
first half.

In the second half, the Cowboys led by as many as 39 points and
rested many of their starters in the game's final minutes.

"In order to win a league, you need to beat the people you
should beat," Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said. "When you
stub your toe and lose a game you should win, that is very
damaging."

Tony Allen and Ivan McFarlin each scored 14 points for the
Cowboys.

Meanwhile, Baylor simply didn't have enough talent to compete
with Oklahoma State. At one point in the second half, the Bears had
four of their six walk-ons playing at the same time.

Terrance Thomas led Baylor with 16 points and Harvey Thomas
added 13.

Of course, this was a much different team from the one that
stunned the boisterous Gallagher-Iba Arena crowd a year ago.

Lucas, then wearing the green and gold of Baylor, helped the
Bears snap a 22-game road losing streak with the surprising victory
over Oklahoma State.

In that win, Lucas scored 20 points, Lawrence Roberts had 11
points and 20 rebounds and Kenny Taylor went 4-of-7 from 3-point
range and had 17 points.

It seemed to be a precursor to a brighter future for Baylor's
struggling program.

But those three all transferred in the summer -- Roberts to
Mississippi State and Taylor to Texas -- after Baylor's program
erupted in tragedy and scandal following the murder of a teammate
during the summer.

On Saturday, Lucas mostly avoided talking to his former
teammates and hurriedly went through the postgame handshake line.
He hugged Guinn, then spun around and quickly disappeared into the
locker room.

Lucas, the son of former NBA player and coach with the same
name, said he's put much of his Baylor past behind him.

"The only people I talk to are Lawrence and Kenny," Lucas
said. "Most of the people over there are new."

Some of Baylor's holdovers from last year couldn't help but
notice how much Lucas has improved.

"I think that he has matured a lot," said Sayman, a senior
guard who played with Lucas for two seasons. "He was a good player
when he was with us. ... But I think that even more I have noticed
how much he pulls (the ball) out when he needs to, pushes down when
he needs to and gets his shot. He plays really smart."