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OU Shoots Baylor Out of the Gym 82-72

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The final score does not accurately reflect how badly Oklahoma dominated this one.

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

While Buddy Hield was on the bench with 2 first half fouls with nearly 9 minutes remaining, Jordan Woodard stepped up big for the Sooners. Hitting 5-6 shots from three, Woodard tallied 20 of Oklahoma's 37 points. He also swiped the ball away from Baylor players 3 times, converting turnovers into quick points in transition. Overall, the Sooners were 8-12 from three in the first half. They whipped the ball around the perimeter against Baylor's zone and found teammates open behind the line in transition. Scott Drew went to man defense for one possession early, but remained committed to his 1-3-1 zone. To his credit, Baylor's zone ratcheted up to give Baylor a 12-0 run in the middle of the half, but Lon Kruger's team adjusted well within the flow of the game.

Baylor opened up the half well on offense. Al Freeman attacked Woodard off the dribble to create a corner three for Ish Wainright and a layup for himself. Wainright's second three of the half would tie the game at 41 with 17:43 remaining. Within a minute and a half, however, Oklahoma would go on a 9-0 run with back-to-back threes from Hield and one from Isaiah Cousins. Baylor's zone was stretched out far beyond the line -- to the point of ignoring Ryan Spangler on the baseline -- but even still OU's guards got clean looks before the zone could rotate.

On offense, Baylor had its own good stretches. They executed a 12-0 run in the first half on the back of King McClure's 7 straight points. Oklahoma would answer with their own 9-0 run, largely thanks to their quick hands on defense. Lester Medford, who for most of Big XII play had limited his turnovers, struggled greatly to keep the ball away from either Cousins' or Woodard's outreached hands.

Desperate for scoring after being outscore 23-6 for a 6-minute stretch, Drew threw out a three guard lineup of Medford, Freeman, and McClure alongside Taurean Prince and Johnathan Motely. That lineup would score 9 points in 4 minutes, but allowed the Sooners to score 10 with two easy threes. The thought of the adjustment was good, but that was also Baylor's only significant stretch playing man-to-man defense, which was Drew's true failure.

Earlier in the season, Baylor had proven against both Kansas and Iowa State -- the Big XII's best offenses after Oklahoma -- that they had the athletes and ability to play man defense and limit outside shooting when teams began eviscerating the zone. With Baylor playing zone defense for the crucial minutes of the game, Oklahoma found look after look from outside even in the half court when the Bears could set their defense. Drew's refusal to attempt man defense for any meaningful minutes of the game was inexcusable. By the time Drew called his last timeout with 7:31 remaining in the game, it didn't matter what changes he made. The game was lost when he allowed Oklahoma to find its rhythm against a zone that lacked the requisite energy after the 9 minute mark of the first half.

Oklahoma finished the game shooting 16-28 from three with 4 of 5 starters scoring in double-figures. The zone allowed OU's guards to move comfortably, which led to their stupendously accurate game from deep.

For Baylor, McClure would finish with a career game. He scored 11 points on 4-6 shooting with 4 steals. He was Baylor's only perimeter player who did not struggle on offense. Medford finished the game with just 6 points matched by 6 turnovers. Freeman (10 points) shot only 4-11, and Prince (15 points) shot 6-14 and a disappointing 3-8 from three despite some wide open looks.

Motley (13 points, 10 rebounds) finished the game with a double-double, his third of the season.

Overall, Baylor out rebounded Oklahoma 34-18, but the Sooner's 16-9 advantage in made threes more than compensated for their weakness on the glass.

A disappointing game for Scott Drew and his team, but Baylor still has the opportunity to compete at the top of the conference. Baylor's next game is Wednesday in Stillwater, another tough game as Jawun Evans is dominating in conference play. The Bears will need to bring huge energy to beat the Cowboys on the road.

Here are the rest of the stats:

Oklahoma Sooners
STARTERS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Ryan Spangler, F 4-8 2-4 1-2 0 3 3 4 1 0 3 3 11
Khadeem Lattin, F 3-4 0-0 1-2 0 3 3 3 1 4 3 3 7
Isaiah Cousins, G 5-6 3-4 0-2 0 1 1 9 2 1 2 2 13
Buddy Hield, G 7-10 4-7 1-1 1 7 8 3 2 1 2 2 19
Jordan Woodard, G 7-12 5-8 1-1 0 1 1 7 4 0 1 2 20
BENCH FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Jamuni McNeace, C 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Dante Buford, F 3-7 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 6
Rashard Odomes, G 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
Dinjiyl Walker, G 2-3 2-3 0-0 0 2 2 2 1 0 0 1 6
Christian James, G 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
31-50 16-28 4-8 2 17 19 29 13 6 15 16 82
62.0% 57.1% 50.0%
Baylor Bears
STARTERS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Rico Gathers, F 0-2 0-0 2-2 4 7 11 0 0 0 1 2 2
Taurean Prince, F 6-14 3-8 0-0 1 3 4 1 1 1 1 1 15
Al Freeman, G 4-11 2-6 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 3 10
Ishmail Wainright, G 2-4 2-4 0-0 0 1 1 3 2 0 0 1 6
Lester Medford, G 2-6 1-2 1-2 0 2 2 7 0 0 6 2 6
BENCH FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Terry Maston, F 2-5 0-0 1-2 1 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 5
Johnathan Motley, F 6-9 0-0 3-5 6 4 10 1 0 0 2 1 15
Jake Lindsey, G 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 3 1 1 1 1 2
King McClure, G 4-6 1-2 2-3 0 1 1 1 4 0 1 1 11
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
27-59 9-22 9-14 14 20 34 18 9 2 16 12 72
45.8% 40.9% 64.3%

via espn.com