Baylor (23-5, 10-5) defeated Oklahoma (9-18, 3-12) 60-54. The Bear’s offense struggled, but the defense was good enough.
Johnathan Motley had an excellent game. He finished with 20 points and 16 rebounds, while shooting 7-of-12 from the field. He was active on offense, often coming away with easy baskets:
Motley also contributed to Baylor’s strong defensive effort. Oklahoma finished just 33% from the field. Motley and Lual-Acuil were active, and as they often do, they blocked shots:
It seemed like this would be an easy victory. Oklahoma clearly has less talent and is a year or two away from being the team they’ve been the last several seasons. But Baylor’s offense—much as it has been at this season—failed to get much going for long stretches. That kept Oklahoma in the game.
Despite leading by 15 points at one point, Baylor failed to pull away . With 9:14 remaining, Baylor led by just two points. Baylor was 4-of-19 on 3-point attempts at that point. They had also missed five free throws. That kept a bad Oklahoma team in the game.
Baylor went over six minutes without a field goal late in the game. Baylor had shot clock violations and missed shots. The former was something that doesn’t usually plague the Bears, but the latter has been a problem all season.
But the Bears still won. Lecomte was the only Baylor player to score for over 10 minutes. He hit a couple of big 3-point shots and knocked down two free throws with less than a minute to play. That was important because Baylor went on a 7-of-23 run late in the second half.
Al Freeman played his first game following his suspension. He sat out the last four games. He finished with six points on four shots. King McClure started once again, but Freeman played long stretches with the first team.
Baylor took way too many 3-point shots tonight. The offense needs to take those shots when they’re open, but Motley and Lual-Acuil should not combine for six of those. And when Oklahoma is playing such a small lineup, the Bears just can’t take 23 shots from behind the line. Baylor finished 6-of-23 from deep.
This game showcased the biggest weakness for Baylor basketball. They have long stretches where they can’t score. But they have one of the best defenses in the country. Whether they can find enough offense has been the big issue throughout conference play. They had enough tonight.