Oklahoma Basketball: Sooners get back on track with win over Baylor

Following back to back losses to Iowa State and West Virginia, the Oklahoma Sooners found themselves at home faced with a chance to sweep the Baylor Bears.  It was a faced paced game that featured efficient three point shooting as the Sooners coasted to an 88-72 win.

Isaiah Cousins led the Sooners with 21 points, but it was Buddy Hield who set the pace for the Sooners.  Hield hit five three pointers and finished the first half with 17 points.  Hield was an insurmountable force.  He was stepping back and launching threes like it was the easiest thing on the planet.  For him, it seemed it was.  Even with the Baylor defenders in his face he was unfazed, continuing to drain threes on autopilot.  With Hield leading them, the Sooners nailed 11 treys in the half, accounting for 33 of their 43 points.  Cameron Clark also has an impressive first half performance, going 4-for-4 from the field and scoring nine points.  Hield finished the game with 19 points, while Clark finished with 16 on 7-for-8 shooting.

Buddy Hield was unstoppable, nailing five threes in the first half.  (Photo via Soonersports.com)

Buddy Hield was unstoppable, nailing five threes in the first half. (Photo via Soonersports.com)

In the second half, it was Cousins’s turn.  With Oklahoma up 43-35 at the break, Cousins would fuel the fire that would lead to the Sooners eventually pulling away from Baylor for good.  He began by nailing a couple of pull-up jumpers that looked as effortless and Hield’s early threes, and then proceeded to nailing a three himself.  Still, Baylor lingered.  It took Tyler Neal knocking in another three to give Oklahoma a ten point cushion.  Cousins followed up with a layup.  After Hield converted a layup to put a bow on an 11-0 Sooner run, Oklahoma was up 16.  Baylor would rally back to cut the lead to single digits, but Oklahoma pushed back even harder, reclaiming its lead.  Cousins made some key free throws down the stretch to finish with 15 second half points and clinch the win for the Sooners.

Oklahoma’s early success from long range certainly contributed to the victory tonight.  The Sooners shot 61.1% in the first half and 48.3% for the game from distance.  However, Oklahoma also outworked Baylor on the boards, winning that battle 35 to 30.  This feat becomes even more impressive when considering that Ryan Spangler only managed to pull down six rebounds, well below his season average of 10.2.  The Sooners worked collectively to win the battle versus a much stronger and taller Baylor team.

Jordan Woodard had yet another solid game for the Sooners with nine points, seven assists, and two steals.  The freshman is quickly becoming one of the better point guards in the conference and should only continue to improve.  The future looks bright for this young star.

Next up, Oklahoma (18-6, 7-4) will take on Texas Tech (11-11, 3-6) at the Lloyd Noble Center.  Tip-off is set for 7 PM CST on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

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