Sooners wiped out in Waco
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Sunday, January 10, 2010
1/10/10 at 7:25 AM
WACO, Texas — About seven minutes after Saturday's Oklahoma-Baylor tip-off, the majority of lights above the Ferrell Center court went out. They fired back up a short time later, but couldn't save the Sooners from a very dark day.
The Bears humbled OU with a 91-60 wipeout that was jolting on several levels. It was their first victory over the Sooners since Dec. 2, 1977, a span of 32 years, 30 games, six presidents and two conferences (Baylor had been 0-26 against OU in the Big 12). The Bears hadn't beaten OU in Waco since 1954.
It marked Jeff Capel's worst loss as the Sooners' coach, and the program's worst since a 108-71 loss at Kansas State Feb. 21, 1981, Billy Tubbs' rookie season at OU.
How it transpired was most shocking of all. Andrew Fitzgerald's baseline jumper gave the Sooners a 20-11 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half.
"We got off to a very good start," Capel said. "We attacked the zone like we wanted to attack it. And I thought we did a good job defensively."
More than anything, the Sooners were together. They made seven of their first 10 shots, on seven assists. They forced Baylor into a 5-of-13 start and held the Bears without a 3-pointer in building that lead.
Then Cade Davis threw what Capel called a "lazy" entry pass. Anthony Jones stole it and hit ahead to Ekpe Udoh for a layup. Tiny Gallon, off to a hot eight-point start, was called for a block and, as he left the game with his second foul, Udoh sank the free throw for a three-point-play.
That touched off a 14-0 run over the next 5
minutes in which the Sooners missed eight straight shots. Gallon scored over Quincy Acy to cut Baylor's lead to 26-24, then OU went the final 5:21 of the first half without a basket.
Behind a 30-6 run over the final 12 minutes, the Bears took a 41-26 halftime lead.
Willie Warren converted a three-point-play to open the second half — his first field goal — but all OU could do was trade baskets for a while. Somewhere toward the middle of the second half, as they fell further behind, the Sooners seemed to fall apart.
"I think for the most part a lot people gave up," said Gallon, whose 17 points led the Sooners, "because their man was scoring or we weren't getting back in transition or things like that."
"We didn't compete at the level we're supposed to," said Crocker, OU's other double-digit scorer with 16.
"I don't think we quit. I don't think we lay down," Capel said. "We just couldn't defend. I think 18 of their first 20 points in the second half came from LaceDarius Dunn and Tweety Carter. We had done a pretty good job in the first half of keeping 'Lace' under control. All of a sudden he gets a wide-open 3 and a wide-open layup...
"I'm not going to say we didn't compete, we just didn't play at a very high level."
Dunn, Carter and Udoh sure did. Dunn scored 23 of his 28 points in the second half and hit 6-of-8 3s. Carter put up 18 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Udoh wound up with 14 points, eight boards and seven blocked shots.
The Bears, now 13-1 after their ninth straight victory and 1-0 in the Big 12, shot 64 percent, made 10-of-17 3s and scored 80 points over the game's final 31 minutes, beginning with Udoh's three-point-play. They dunked off inbound passes and alley-oops in transition. They went end to end for layups. They knocked in open treys.
The Sooners, now 9-6 and 0-1, shot 28 percent after jumping ahead 20-11. They were visibly frustrated on the court and the bench during the game, and justifiably concerned after its conclusion.
"We did a good job early, but for whatever reason we became very tentative once they went on their (14-0) run," Capel said. "That's who we've been, unfortunately, this year. We'll be right there and things will be going well. Then all of a sudden the momentum changes a little bit, and we can't get out of whatever rut we get into. We're going to have to mature very quickly and get better with it."
Guerin Emig 581-8355
Baylor's Ekpe Udoh (right) reaches for a rebound against Oklahoma's Willie Warren as Baylor's Josh Lomers defends Saturday in Waco, Texas. Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press