After OU took a lead in the 2nd half, Baylor turned it on down the stretch and came away with a double-digit victory against the 19th ranked Sooners. They did so largely thanks to the playmaking of Lester Medford (17 points, 5 assists, 2 steals), who used his quickness to get shots for himself and others, and the late game contribution of Rico Gathers (8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals).
Kenny Chery hit a key three off the dribble to close out the half and give Baylor a 6 point lead. OU came out in the 2nd half on a 7-0 run before Royce O'Neale drained a corner three off a Medford assist to retake the lead, 33-31.
The game was tied up at 49 with 5:13 left in the game. From that point, Baylor went on a 20-9 run to close out the game.
Every Baylor player to get minutes tonight scored. Here are the stats, per ESPN:
|TaShawn Thomas, F||4-12||0-0||2-2||1||3||4||4||1||0||1||0||10|
|Ryan Spangler, F||5-8||0-0||0-0||5||2||7||1||2||3||3||2||10|
|Isaiah Cousins, G||3-7||2-4||0-0||1||3||4||1||0||0||1||0||8|
|Buddy Hield, G||6-17||0-7||0-1||2||1||3||3||2||0||5||3||12|
|Jordan Woodard, G||4-8||2-5||2-4||0||2||2||6||1||0||0||1||12|
|Khadeem Lattin, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||1||2||3||1||1||0||1||2||0|
|D.J. Bennett, F||0-2||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Frank Booker, G||2-6||2-6||0-0||0||2||2||2||1||1||1||3||6|
|Dinjiyl Walker, G||0-2||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Royce O'Neale, F||4-5||2-2||0-0||2||3||5||2||1||0||3||2||10|
|Rico Gathers, F||4-7||0-0||0-0||2||6||8||2||2||0||1||1||8|
|Johnathan Motley, F||1-4||0-0||0-0||1||2||3||1||0||2||4||1||2|
|Kenny Chery, G||3-8||3-5||4-4||0||2||2||2||2||0||3||3||13|
|Lester Medford, G||6-10||3-7||2-2||0||1||1||5||2||0||2||2||17|
|Taurean Prince, F||5-12||0-4||2-2||2||5||7||3||0||2||2||0||12|
|Deng Deng, F||2-4||0-0||0-0||2||3||5||0||0||0||0||0||4|
|Al Freeman, G||1-2||1-1||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||3|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None - TEAMS: None
As you can see, Johnathan Motley had an off night, shooting 1-4 from the floor for 2 points with just 3 rebounds. Thankfully, little-used Deng Deng filled some of that void with 4 points and 5 rebounds, using his length and athleticism to be an annoyance to OU on both ends.
Kenny Chery shot only 3-8 from the floor, but was 4-4 from the line and hit three huge threes that kept the momentum in Baylor's favor.
Baylor did a great job of limiting Buddy Hield, who was 6-17 for just 12 points with 5 turnovers, which was a game high. TaShawn Thomas turned things on in the 2nd half, hitting several floaters over Gathers from the middle of the zone. The Bears eventually intercepted those passes inside, forcing OU to take long jumpers that they had struggled to make all night. OU finished 24-62 overall and 6-24 from three.
Baylor was 8-8 from the free throw line, a very encouraging improvement for a team shooting 65% from the FT line this season.
Scott Drew had himself a nice game. He showed great emotion to energize a lackadaisical Baylor squad in the 2nd half, and he made sure that Baylor took advantage of mismatches on offense, in particular going to O'Neale in the post when he had a smaller guard switched onto him.
Baylor will be in Stillwater to play Oklahoma State on Tuesday before a two game home-stand against Texas (Jan 31st) and TCU (Feb 4th). If they can win 2 of 3 in that stretch, they'll be sitting pretty for the late-season February push, when Scott Drew teams have historically played some of their best basketball.
Tonight was a great win for Baylor. They are now 3-3 in Big 12 play with 12 games left to play, evenly split between the road and home. If Baylor can defend home court, they would seem to be a lock to make back-to-back Tournament appearances for the 1st time in program history.
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