There was no hangover for No. 1 Oklahoma after losing at Iowa State on Monday night. In fact, the rested Sooners played with a chip on their shoulder as they went into Waco and pulverized the No. 13 Bears 82-72 inside of the Ferrell Center.
While the Sooners have seen their fair share of solid wins throughout this season, this complete domination of a conference foe has to rank towards the top of the list. OU assisted on its first 24 field goal attempts and 29-of-31 makes throughout the game to show this was a total team effort.
Sooner Superstar Buddy Hield finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, but OU had to build a comfortable lead without the guidance of their leader, who was dealing with foul trouble throughout most of the first half.
Baylor’s Taurean Prince swished a 3-pointer seconds after Hield picked up his second first-half foul to give the Bears a 22-16 lead. Staring at a road deficit with their best player in foul trouble, the top-ranked Sooners appeared to be backed into a corner. But junior Jordan Woodard did his part in making sure OU righted the ship by scoring all 20 of his points in the first half to give OU a 37-30 lead at halftime.
Baylor fought back out of halftime and had tied the game at 41-41 in no time, but a close game only meant it was time for some “Buddy Ball”. Immediately after Baylor tied the game, Hield responded with a nothing but net 3-pointer, and then a Woodard steal on the other end of the court led to another Hield 3-pointer to put the Sooners up six points. Back-to-back Buddy threes are great, but Isaiah Cousins’ 3-pointer on the next OU possession is what busted the seal on this contest and gave Oklahoma the momentum they needed.
That scoring spree was the start of a 25-to-7 run for Oklahoma as they showcased to a national audience they were capable of holding the nation’s No. 1 ranking. Oklahoma got up as many as 24, but the Bears were able to claw back once the game was already determined and make the final score somewhat respectable.
Cousins finished with 13 points and nine assists, while Ryan Spangler found his rhythm in the second half to total 11 points. Both Dante Buford and Dinjiyl Walker scored six points each off the bench.
OU did a great job in limiting Baylor’s Rico Gathers to only two points (10.8 below his season average) and 11 rebounds. Prince and Johnathan Motley each led the way for Baylor with 15 points, while King McClure scored 11 points of his own.
Oklahoma will be back in action on Tuesday night when they host a much improved Texas Tech team inside of Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners will then hit the road for a highly anticipated matchup against Ben Simmons and LSU on Saturday.