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February 9, 2014

Happy to be home, Sooners throttle Bears for season sweep

NORMAN — If Oklahoma was jet-lagged by its weary travels earlier this week, it got over it quickly Saturday night at Lloyd Noble Center. Teams with tired legs don’t put on offensive exhibitions like the one the 21st-ranked Sooners did in their 88-72 victory over Baylor.

Instead they looked excited to be playing on their home floor after two straight road losses.

Good to be home?

“Yes, it was,” OU guard Isaiah Cousins said after scoring a team-high 21 points and grabbing a career-high seven rebounds.

It was one of those nights when scoring simply wasn’t a problem. The Sooners (18-6, 7-4 Big 12) shot 53.6 percent and were 14 for 29 from 3-point range.

They cruised to an easy victory on a night when they only scored 16 points in the paint and were 14 for 19 from the free-throw line.

Baylor (14-9, 2-8) couldn’t do much about it.

The Bears, who were ranked No. 7 when the conference slate began, but have now lost seven of their last eight games, just couldn’t keep up. It was a game of jump shots. The Sooners’ were falling. Those of Baylor, which shot 42.4 percent (25 for 59) and were 9 of 23 from 3-point range, were not.

“When you get four of five guys making shots, it’s very difficult to guard,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “We’ve had some pretty good shooting games, but this was probably as good as any of them.”

OU forward Ryan Spangler went scoreless, but OU led the final 34 minutes of the game and rolled to its largest margin of victory in 11 conference games.

Buddy Hield scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half, and Cameron Clark emerged from a scoring slump with 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting.

“Coach just ran a lot plays early where it was comfortable for me to catch it and shoot it. Guys found me in the right shooting spots,” Hield said. “I was able to pick my teammates up and keep it up from there.”

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