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Great Escape: Sooners Slip By Baylor For Huge Road Win

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WACO, Texas -

Oklahoma has had its ups and downs closing out games on the road this season. The Sooners were brilliant closing out a win against Texas, but Tuesday night at Kansas State, the Sooners blew a six-point lead with five minutes remaining.

Saturday at Baylor, the Sooners nearly blew an seven-point lead with less than a minute remaining, but managed to hold on to knock off the 12th-ranked Bears, 66-64 in Waco.

With the win, the Sooners improved to 3-2 in Big 12 play and 14-4 overall. It also signaled the end of a brutal start to conference play for the Sooners and snapped Baylor's 13-game home winning streak.

Two free throws from freshman Jordan Woodard gave the Sooners a 65-58 lead with 29.8 seconds remaining. Baylor 7-footer Isaiah Austin then made two 3-pointers sandwiched around a Woodard free throw miss on a 1-and-1 attempt to cut the OU lead to a single point with 9.8 seconds remaining.

Woodard was fouled for a third straight possession and made 1-of-2 free throws to make the score 66-64 with 9.1 seconds left. Baylor worked the ball up the court, but a pass was deflected, forcing a wild scramble and desperation shot from Royce O'Neale that went in, but came well after the buzzer.

Oklahoma even being in the game after a dismal first half was an impressive feat in and of itself. The Sooners shot 23.3 percent from the floor in the first half, including 1-of-13 from 3-point range. Oklahoma had two separate stretches of at least five minutes without a field goal, and a third stretch of 2:30 without one.

Part of the struggles could be attributed to a feisty Baylor zone defense that successfully flummoxed the OU offense. However, most of the problem was that shots simply weren't falling for the Sooners.

However, the Sooners were able to stay in the game thanks to good defense. Baylor shot just 36.7 percent in the first half. The Bears led at the break, 30-24.

In the second half, the Sooners came to life, particularly Buddy Hield, who scored all 19 of his points in the second 20 minutes, including four big 3-pointers. Hield's 19 points were a game high.

With Hield lighting it up from the outside, the Sooners ripped off a 16-0 run after Baylor scored the first two points of the second half. Cam Clark's 3-pointer made the score 40-32 in favor of the Sooners with 14:37 remaining in the game and thoroughly silenced the Baylor crowd. Clark finished the game with 14 points. Woodard finished with 10 points and eight assists.

The Bears didn't go away, battling back to take the lead on multiple occasions, including a 51-48 lead on an O'Neale jumper. Hield responded with a 3-pointer to tie the score, and the two teams traded ties and BU leads for the next several possessions, until another Hield 3-pointer with 4:01 gave OU the lead for good at 58-57. Back-to-back buckets from Woodard and Clark pushed the OU lead to 62-57 with two minutes to play.

Kenny Chery led the Bears with 16 points while Austin had 12 points and Cory Jefferson had 11.

The Sooners return home Wednesday night to take on TCU at 8 p.m.

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