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Baylor MBB Downs Sooners, Matches 2010 Win Total at 18-2.

The Baylor men showed up tonight in a game they had to win in Norman, beating OU 77-65 on the strength of Perry Jones III's double-double, strong 3-point shooting, and improved rebounding. It wasn't always pretty to watch-- Baylor had several stretches where it couldn't seem to stop OU from drilling 18-footers or keep them off the offensive boards-- but Baylor's overall talent level, particularly the play of the aforementioned and much-maligned (by me, I mean) PJ3 and the diminutive assassin Pierre Jackson, put the Bears on top and kept them there.

Jackson continued his strong play in-conference with 16 points on 5-9 (3-4 from 3-point territory) shooting and 7 assists. The only black mark on his record continues to be turnovers; tonight he had 4 turnovers in the first 8 minutes of the game and finished with 7 total for the game. To these untrained eyes, though, he improved vastly from the first half to the second in his ball-handling, and once again he bailed the team out down the stretch by hitting free throws, slicing apart the defense, and finding Quincy Acy (13 points on 4-6 from the field, 5-6 from the line) and PJ3 down low.

I was also excited to see Anthony Jones have a strong game in what has turned into a lost season for him. When Baylor needed points early on in the game, Jones hit 2 big 3s and drove the baseline for his patented layup. He only finished the game with 11 points after disappearing somewhat in the second half, but I still liked seeing the senior get involved, especially early.

MVP of the Game: Has to be Perry Jones III. I owe it to him after how much crap I gave him after the last game. My only question was why he decided to jack up a couple of 3s in the first half. That was weird.

LVBSVP (Less valuable but still valuable player): Pierre Jackson. I might as well just retire this category after its first usage and name it after him. He is the straw that consistently stirs the Baylor drink.

Disappointment: That Quincy Miller couldn't build on his last two games with a strong showing. After hitting a 3 to open the game, he managed to go 1-5 the rest of the way. He did pull down 4 rebounds and dish out 2 assists, but I was hoping to see more of the Hambino Quincy Miller than the pre-Kansas Miller. Hopefully he comes back in the next game strong and with regained confidence.

Disappointment #2: Jefferson only getting 8 minutes without any foul trouble. He looked so good early in the season, what happened? What am I missing here? (serious question)

Other thoughts:

  • I don't understand why we don't play more man with our length and athleticism. My first thought is that we obviously haven't worked on man-to-man defense as much and would get burned, but we're going to get burned anyway by teams that can shoot over the zone. Oklahoma couldn't do it because they went 3-12 from 3, but Mizzou absolutely did and that's more of who I am afraid of than OU.
  • 6 man rotation again of the 5 starters and Anthony Jones. A.J. Walton only played 11 minutes in the entire game because of foul trouble (at one point we had 3 team fouls and they were all A.J.). I'm going to watch this more going forward, but I think we're seeing a significant shortening of the bench as we go through the season.
  • 14-17 from the FT line for the game. That's good stuff. Acy went 5-6, which is really good for him.
  • OU played all of their starters 30+ minutes. Nobody else played more than 9. That's weird, right?
  • Turnovers were a big problem again tonight but were actually down from the last few games. 12 TOs for the game. 14 assists on 27 made baskets.
  • Finally, Baylor won its 18th game this season in 20 tries. Baylor won 18 games all of last season. That's improvement!