The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 19, 2014

Sooners survive lackluster opening half to run past 11th-ranked Bears

WACO, Texas — After watching his team stumble through one of its ugliest halves of the season, Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger had one message for his team: it could be worse and it probably should have been. Only trailing No. 12 Baylor by six points felt like a gift.

About 90 minutes later, the 25th-ranked Sooners were winning and celebrating after knocking off the Bears 66-64 at Ferrell Center.

“You feel really good any time you can win a game on the road. To do it against a really good Baylor club is even better,” Kruger said.

The victory was big on multiple levels. It was the program’s first road win over a team ranked No. 12 or higher in 21 years. Also, it ended a brutal five-game stretch to begin conference play that included three road games and four contests against ranked or previously-ranked teams. OU (14-4, 3-2 Big 12) won three of them with the Baylor victory joining wins over No. 8 Iowa State and Texas.

But how it won Saturday was completely different.

OU managed to hang in the first half when it could hardly get a shot to fall. The team that had led the Big 12 in scoring coming into the game — the Sooners — seemed lost in the first 20 minutes. They settled for contested jump shots against Baylor’s zone and couldn’t get anywhere near the rim.

The Sooners’ 23.3 percent first-half shooting was their coldest stretch of the season. OU stayed in the game strictly with defense. Baylor led 30-24 at halftime.

That was the turnaround for the Sooners. Getting stops was their Achilles’ heel through the first 18 games. Saturday it was their strength.

It also helped that Buddy Hield and Cameron Clark caught fire in the second half. Hield scored a game-high 19 points, all of it in the final 20 minutes. Clark scored 10 of his 12 points after intermission.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • USA Basketball Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cody adds former champions Maple, Howe as assistants

    A great wrestler doesn’t necessarily make a great wrestling coach. On the other hand, it’s not a bad place to start....

    July 30, 2014

  • Hamlin crew chief out 6 races

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian Grubb and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Bell focuses on every facet of his game

    LATROBE, Pa. — Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw....

    July 30, 2014

  • Sam factor may ready Rams for sensitivity class

    ST. LOUIS — To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp....

    July 30, 2014

  • Romo skips full-pad session for the first time at camp

    OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys are taking it easy with Tony Romo’s back....

    July 30, 2014

  • Vikings hire help for Kluwe talks

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have hired the attorney who investigated the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal and another who played a prominent role in the fight for marriage equality to help in settlement talks with former punter ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Cards’ Abraham charged with DUI

    ATLANTA — Authorities say Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was arrested on a drunken driving charge a month ago in the Atlanta area. Abraham has been absent from the team’s training camp since Friday....

    July 30, 2014

Facebook