The Norman Transcript

January 10, 2010

Men can't restart winning formula against Baylor Saturday

By John Shinn

WACO, Texas -- For about nine minutes, Oklahoma looked like it might have turned things around Saturday. It defended, took good shots and actually looked like the team many thought it would be.

But they play 40 minutes in college basketball. That last 31 was more of the same in the Sooners' 91-60 loss to Baylor at the Ferrell Center.

The performance wasn't shocking. It mirrored many OU (9-6, 0-1 Big 12) put forth in the first half of the season.

When the going got tough it went nowhere at all.

OU actually led by nine eight minutes and was playing with a bounce in its step. Then it committed a three straight turnovers, Baylor made a couple shots and the implosion began.

"I thought we got off to a very good start. We attacked the zone like we wanted to attack it. And I thought we did a good job defensively. We had a 20-11 lead and then we threw a lazy post pass. That allowed them to get out in transition and get on the board again," Capel said. "That kind of changed the tide of the game."

Capel actually called two timeouts during the run. The first came after Baylor had cut its deficit to 20-14. The second came with eight minutes left before halftime and the Bears up 25-20.

Neither did much good.

OU couldn't make a shot and the Bears (13-1, 1-0) couldn't miss.

"They kept scoring and we couldn't find 'em in transition. It just got out of hand then," OU guard Tony Crocker said.

The Bears (13-1, 1-0) closed the first half on a 30-6 run. They only led 41-26 at halftime, but a knockout blow had been delivered.

The final 20 minutes was just a matter of deciding whether it would be a loss or blowout loss.

It wound up being the Sooners' most lopsided defeat since falling by 37 to Kansas State in 1981 and provided a gaudy sign of just how bad things have gone for the Sooners this season.

The loss ended a streak of 30 straight wins over the Bears that dated back to 1977. It was Baylor's first win over the Sooners in Waco since 1954.

If Baylor had a mental block when it came to playing OU, it didn't show Saturday.

"We had it in the back of our head, but we put it behind us," said Baylor point guard Tweety Carter said after scoring 18 points and handing out 10 assists. LaceDarius Dunn scored a game-high 28 points and as 6-for-8 from 3-point range. Ekpe Udoh added 14 and eight and blocked seven shots.

The Sooners didn't have a blocked shot and were outmuscled badly on the glass. Baylor owned a 38-26 edge in rebounds.

Forward Tiny Gallon scored 17 points to lead the Sooners. Tony Crocker added 16. Willie Warren scored nine and only took nine shots. He played the entire first half at point guard. Tommy Mason-Griffin didn't start for the third straight game and didn't get on the court until early in the second half.

Capel said Mason-Griffin's lack of playing time was a "coach's decision" and did not elaborate.

Baylor shot 58.6 percent (34-for-58) and 10-for-20 from 3-point range. But OU struggled to put the ball in the basket. It hit just 35.7 percent from the field (20-for-56) and 5-for-20 from 3-point range.

Capel stopped short of saying his team quit after Baylor's first half run. OU trimmed the deficit to 14 with about 16 minutes left in the game, but never seriously threatened to make it a game.

"I'm not going to say we didn't compete, we just didn't play at a very high level," he said.

John Shinn 366-3536 jshinn@normantranscript.com