'They're really good': No. 1 Baylor sets Big 12 record with 65-54 win vs. Sooners
NORMAN — With two minutes left against Baylor, Kristian Doolittle found Brady Manek at the top of the key. The junior forward fired off a 3-point shot, but it bounced off the back of the rim and went out to the left.
Oklahoma didn't score in the 2:50 against Baylor.
The Sooners hung around for much of the game, but their struggle to hit 3-point shots and the scoring droughts hurt them against the No. 1-ranked team in the country.
On a night when the Sooners were facing the top-ranked team, the game was not out of reach for OU. Baylor won the first meeting earlier in the season by four points, and the Sooners have played better at home all season. But Baylor overpowered OU in a 65-54 win on Tuesday at Lloyd Noble Center. Baylor set the record for longest win streak in the Big 12 with 23 straight.
“I feel like we did a pretty good job of being patient and trying to get the right look for us,” Doolittle said. “But there's only 30 seconds on the shot clock, so you can only wait for so long.”
OU came out hot, hanging with Baylor and going up 10-5 five minutes into the game. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Doolittle and Jamal Bieniemy got the Lloyd Noble Center crowd into the game early.
Oklahoma was 5-of-20 from 3-point range, and only hit one three in the second half.
The Sooners started to go dormant after the nine-minute mark in the first half. Baylor went on a 12-0 run to go up by 13 points, and OU was scoreless for almost five minutes before freshman Jalen Hill made a layup.
Manek got the OU crowd going again, sinking a 3-pointer and bringing the masses to their feet. A minute later, Austin Reaves alley-ooped the ball to Manek who slammed it home and brought the Sooners within four points.
OU and Baylor kept things close coming out of halftime, as the Sooners wouldn’t let the Bears build on their lead.
A made 3-pointer from Harmon put the Sooners within three points, and a jump shot by Doolittle brought them within one point.
“Baylor's good. They're really good,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “I thought when we got back to one there midway in the second half, we just had some empty possessions that we just couldn't quite get over the hump at that point.”
The Bears answered with an 11-2 run over the next 3 1/2 minutes to take a 12 point lead. OU would keep the game close but didn’t do enough to make up the difference.
Alondes Williams gave OU a boost in the second half, as nine of his 11 points came after halftime. Doolittle led the team with 18 points.
The Sooners’ struggle to score was highlighted by a 36.5 shooting percentage. Baylor’s top of the conference defense showed why it has been so effective.
OU will play Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Saturday.