Akinjo, Flagler. Flagler, Akinjo, This is how the Baylor offense started, and it’s what defined it in the Bears 84-74 win over Oklahoma Tuesday night.
Despite aggressive drives and good offense from Oklahoma, Baylor weathered the early storm yet again... until the Sooners slipped up. In a two minute span, Baylor took a 1 point lead at the 11-minute mark and turned it into an 8-point lead over the next 77 seconds.
Akinjo showed the 3-level scorer he can be yet again. A smooth left-handed layup put Baylor on top 13-12. A few pull up 3’s and a few midrange jumpshots had him with 13 points at the half.
James Akinjo wasn’t alone on the perimeter though. The resurgent Adam Flagler poured in 13 of his own first-half points
Baylor finished the first half out-rebounding Oklahoma 14-4. Four.
Even with the Sooner’s hot shooting (68%), 9 turnovers plus the rebounding differential was too much.
The second half started with a simple play: Flo Thamba mishandles a pass, gathers it, passes to an open Flagler after a scramble. Not even a mistake from OU necessarily, just an opportunity that you can’t give the Bears. Flagler creates a good floater for himself off the dribble, boom. 14-point deficit.
Akinjo brought Baylor’s offense back to life after a brief Bears’ scoring drought, hitting back to back 3-pointers to extend the lead back to 11.
Though Oklahoma made multiple 4-5 point runs, Baylor would answer with their own bursts of scoring. The Sooners lead for a grand total of 3 minutes and 41 seconds in the first half, but never getting closer than 5 points.
Rebounding covered up what was certainly not the best defensive performance from Baylor this season. Baylor finished with 12 offensive rebounds and 34 total compared to 16 total rebounds for the Sooners.
There were moments, however.
Baylor struggled again somewhat in the waning 2 minutes of this game as Oklahoma scored to tighten the lead to 5 on multiple occasions. After a few trips to the line, Baylor closed this out 84-74.
Not enough can be said about the offensive performance from this backcourt of Flagler and Akinjo. Massive efforts on a night where they were needed.
Not quite a “clunker” of a game considering the offensive performance, but it takes a phenomenal performance from the opponent to beat Baylor on an average defensive day. Bears win.