Buddy Hield finished with 19 points and Jordan Woodard added 10 points and eight assists as No. 25 Oklahoma went into Waco and knocked off No. 12 Baylor, 66-64.
The Sooners shook off a dreadful first half in which they shot 23% from the floor and just 1-for-13 from three, hitting three consecutive threes to cap a 16-0 run to start the second half. The Bears were never able to recover from that deficit.
The issue for Baylor this season is on the defensive end of the floor. They are a talented, well-balanced team on the offensive end of the floor. Kenny Chery has more than adequately filled in for Pierre Jackson at the point guard spot while Brady Heslip and Taurean Prince have turned into very nice complimentary scorers alongside the front line of Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson.
But the issue is that their zone simply is not stopping people. I wrote about it extensively here, so I won’t rehash the whole argument. But the bottom line is that while the box score may make it look like Baylor was better defensively, the fact of the matter is that in the first half, Oklahoma simply missed shots they want to take.
The Sooners are very-much a perimeter-oriented team, and when they go up against a zone, they are going to shoot a lot of three-pointers. That’s just how they play. In the first half, they got good looks from beyond the arc, they just didn’t go down. In the second half, they did. Oklahoma hit 6-for-13 from three in the second half, and that’s what ended up winning them the game.
For Oklahoma, this is a huge road win. They move to 3-2 in the Big 12, which will keep them within striking distance of the teams at the top of the conference. They’re very difficult to matchup with given the versatility of guys like Buddy Hield and Cameron Clark, but they aren’t much better on the defensive end of the floor than Baylor.
Baylor, on the other hand, is now just 1-3 in Big 12 play. They’ve lost two in a row — the other being a drubbing at Texas Tech — and, at this point, don’t look like a team that can make any noise in March.