Baylor keeps control of the 3rd spot in the Big 12, and start a modest 2 game winning streak. Baylor beat Oklahoma by 10 points, in a hard fought matchup with the Sooners. The Bears again struggled to make shots to start the game (5-20 to start), but found their rhythm and did enough to win this game. They shot 38.9% for the game, but a much better 44% in the second half.
The Bears were led by Pierre Jackson and Brady Heslip. They combined to make eight 3-pointers and total 34 points. Quincy Miller chipped in 12 despite shooting just 2-8. He struggled from the field but was aggressive and made 8-9 from the free throw line.
After starting the game off really getting hurt on the glass, the Bears rebounded to finish just -1 on rebounds (37-36). The Sooners were the aggressive team to start this game, leading with a 10-2 rebounding edge early. Quincy Miller had 9 rebounds to lead the Bears, though he had 7 of those in teh first half. In the second half, Quincy Acy and Perry Jones III did a good job of controlling the glass in the 2nd half limiting OU to just 5 offensive rebounds during that time.
AJ Walton really impressed me this game. He played very well and within himself. I think he is finally finding his groove from the bench. He played some great defense on the Oklahoma guards, and really attacked the glass. AJ finished with 5 rebounds, and got an offensive putback on a missed 3-pointer. AJ even took a 3-pointer this game that should have gone in.
Also playing some big minutes was Cory Jefferson. He played a very good 13 minutes with Perry Jones II and Quincy Acy in foul trouble throughout the game. Cory was able to establish position on offense and forced the Sooners to foul several times. He missed a few free throws (4-8 from the line) but put pressure on OU offensively that the Bears sorely needed inside. He also helped Baylor limit Andrew Fitzpatrick to just 3-11 with solid defense.
Keys to the Game:
1. Force Turnovers-
The aim was 15 turnovers, but the Bears only forced 13. They were a quiet 13 though, as the Sooners did a good job of slowing the game down and waiting for good shots. They started the game with 2 turnovers against the zone, but adjusted well. The Bears switched from man to a zone defense several times and each time, the Sooners committed some turnovers while adjusting.
Even though the Bears didn't hit that magic number of 13, they did enough on defense to win this game. The Sooners had 34 points in the 1st half, but struggled mightily to score just 24 in the second half.
2. Fast Break Points
Missed on this one. Bears just had 2 fastbreak points according to the GameTracker. The Bears are just not getting out in transition as much It seems to me that teams are going back to transition defense more with their 2 guards and a win, and having just 2 players hit the offensive glass.
The Bears are so much better when they are running, and with Pierre being as fast as any player in college basketball this year, maybe they need to play some strangers (ie non conference teams) to get that aspect of their game going again.
3. Perry, Perry, Perry
Well, foul trouble really limited Perry in this game. He had 2 in the first half, only getting 10 minutes. He had a very quiet 2 points and 2 rebounds, but did a much better job in the 2nd half. He fought for position on the glass, and started going after the ball more. He can just out jump almost every player in college basketball, and when he attacks the ball at its highest point, he can be a great rebounder.
He also got a lot of good looks on offense. He really worked for position, and I liked the plays late we ran to him. He would come to the wing to screen for Brady Heslip or Pierre Jackson, and with that extra space, would get better position in the post. He would then get the ball and go quickly to his left or right. He just missed some bunnies that he has to start making.
Perry finished the game with 8 points on 3-11 shooting (0-3 from 3-point line, didn't like any of those shots) and 6 rebounds. Not enough from Perry, but he played hard.
4. Win the battle from deep
This was the difference in the game. The Sooners 0-12 from behind the arc. Steven Pledger went 0-5 and Tyler Neal missed five wide open shots. The Sooners had good looks from deep, they just missed them.
The Bears shot a below average 8-23, but made them in the 2nd half with 5-10 shooting. Brady Heslip was 4-9, Pierre Jackson was 4-6. Perry Jones III and Quincy Miller were both 0-3.
+24 from behind the arc will win most games.
5. Keep a leash on Pledger
Steven Pledger got 21 points while playing every minute of this game. His midrange game was excellent. The Sooners did a great job of screening his defender on the wing and getting him an open look. As a Dallas Mavericks fan, they ran him a lot like the Mavs run Jason Terry on those plays.
Pledger did a great job from inside the arc (8-13) it was his deep shot that betrayed him. He was 0-5 from behind the arc. The Bears held him just under 22 points with AJ Walton doing a lot of good work in their man defense Deuce Bello struggled a bit late in the first half against Pledger, where he took over the game for a few minutes.
The Bears also focused heavily on Pledger in their zone defense, leaving other shooters open Luckily Tyler Neal missed several wide open shots in those situations. A solid job overall by the Bears.