OU basketball notebook: Sooners unfazed by Baylor defense
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Thursday, January 31, 2013
1/31/13 at 3:20 AM
Baylor came into Wednesday's game playing some uncharacteristically tough defense. The Bears led the Big 12 Conference in scoring defense and 3-point defense in league play, and led the conference in blocked shots. They held Kansas to 61 points - the Jayhawks' lowest total in Lawrence in seven years - back on Jan. 14 and held TCU to 40 total points Jan. 12.
Oklahoma scored 74, the most Baylor has given up in regulation since Gonzaga scored 94 Dec. 28. The Sooners shot 53 percent in the first half, then 52 in the second.
"The guys executed things very well, moved the ball pretty well and got each other open much of the night," OU coach Lon Kruger said.
Starting forwards Amath M'Baye and Romero Osby shot a combined 14-of-19 against Baylor shot-blocking specialists Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson.
"In the first half, we couldn't stop them offensively," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "Oklahoma deserves a lot of credit because they shot 53 percent against us and for the most part played an outstanding game."
How the Bears rallied: That offensive efficiency was nearly enough to win the game midway through the second half, as OU led 56-41. What got Baylor back in the game was a four-guard lineup that sped the Sooners up, turned them over and led to easier baskets.
Well, all of that and the Bears' domination on the boards. Seven-foot-one center Austin grabbed 21 of Baylor's 47 rebounds, and 12 of the Bears' 24 offensive boards.
OU had 34 rebounds, with five coming on the offensive end. The Sooners were outscored 24-6 in second-chance points.
Numbers to know: OU is 7-2 in games decided by seven points or less, after going 4-5 in similarly close games a year ago.
The Sooners are 5-2 in the Big 12 Conference. They won five Big 12 games in both 2011 and '12, and four in 2010.
The Sooners have won two road games in Big 12 play. They won once on the road last season, once the season before that, and failed to win a league road game in 2009-10.