Men's basketball: Sooners blow out Baylor to complete season sweep
Michelle Nehrenz, The Oklahoma Daily
The Oklahoma men’s basketball team had a big first half on its way to a 90-76 victory over Baylor.
The Sooners (18-8, 9-5 Big 12) finished the first half on an 18-1 run, turning a reasonably close 29-20 game into a 47-21 halftime blowout.
Baylor (16-11, 7-7 Big 12) had a hard time putting any offense together whatsoever in the first, mostly due to the fact that a large amount of their frontcourt, most notably freshman center Isaiah Austin, were in foul trouble early.
The lack of offense was compounded by the fact that Big 12 scoring leader, Baylor senior guard Pierre Jackson, was held to 1-8 shooting in the first half, managing only four points.
“The first half was pretty good offensively and a little bit better defensively,” coach Lon Kruger said. “I thought that [the players] opened the game really well focused. [The players] have done a great job of getting each other ready to play and I thought that they did that again today.”
Jackson would go on to have a much better second half, leading the game in scoring with 28 points along with eight assists.
However, the Bear’s push in the second wasn’t enough to overcome their dismal start to the game.
Every time Baylor would pull close to single digits, someone on Oklahoma would make a play to push the lead further out of reach.
Senior guard Sam Grooms was the star of the night for the Sooners. He scored a career-high 23 points and also dished four assists.
“I’ve been in the gym working hard just about every day trying to build confidence in myself,” Grooms said. “I’m a senior. I want to win right now, so if that’s what’s going to help the team, I’m going to do whatever it takes at this point in time.”
Joining Grooms in having a big game was the Sooner’s steadiest player, senior forward Romero Osby, who finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, despite matching up against Baylor's 7-foot-1 freshman center, Isaiah Austin.
“I tried to battle him,” Osby said. “He is a seven-footer, so he’s a couple of inches taller than me. I just tried to use my strength and my size against him.”
The only real bit of anxiety for Sooner fans came in the first half, as freshman guard Je’lon Hornbeak fell and chipped two of his teeth.
Luckily, he only missed a small amount of the game and was able to come back and contribute with 13 points and five rebounds.