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Photo by Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 Baylor stifles Oklahoma on the road for a 65-51 win

January 22, 2022

No. 5 Baylor (17-2, 5-2) wreaks havoc on Oklahoma (12-7, 2-5) in Norman, forcing 25 turnovers en route to a 65-51 win. 

Defense travels. Defense wins championships. Defense we are, and defense we’ll always be. I say D, you say fence. D, D, D, Defense. 

However you put it, that’s how Baylor won a road game in which the offense was mostly flat. But that didn’t matter. With a defensive effort that made Oklahoma beyond uncomfortable from start to finish, this game became a Sooner turnover palooza. 

Let’s settle in on the first half. I really hope you like defense. And if that’s the case, you’re absolutely in luck. The Bears jumped out 10-0 early by holding Oklahoma to 0-2 from the field and forcing eight turnovers on the Sooners’ first possession. 10 possessions. Two shots. 

But, like all good things, that soon faded. Oklahoma rallied to a 17-5 run to go up 17-15. While the Bears would eventually end the half up 25-21, attribute the Sooner comeback to Baylor shooting 11-34 from the field and 2-14 from deep in the opening 20. 

19-7 Baylor lead in points off turnovers. 9-2 steals advantage. 14-6 turnover differential. 34-19 shots taken gap. Yet the Bears only led by four at the break. Not great, Bob. But not awful.

The second half started almost identical to the first half. This was just a game of runs. Baylor shot out to a 33-21 lead with an 8-0 run to begin the second, but Oklahoma kept sneakily creeping each time the Bears pushed the lead past 10. 

However, with many thanks to sporadic and unpredictable officiating that sometimes swung the Bears’ way, Baylor had enough. For the second game in a row, Scott Drew’s squad closed out on the road — much to the dismay of the ESPN+ announcers. 

Speaking of, if you were listening to the ESPN+ broadcast or keeping tabs on the officiating, you spent most of the game thinking:

Not to mention, a Matthew Mayer ‘no call’ flagrant foul on a rebound became the talk of the town. Apparently that was the deciding factor in a 14 point game? I don’t know. But I can tell you the ESPN+ crew did not shut up about it. 

I digress. The second half was highlighted by a much better shooting performance from the Bears at a 61% shooting clip. Moreover, the defense was just as stifling. That, thanks to Flagler’s 14 in the final 20 minutes alone, led to a 65-51 win. 

16 steals for the Bears. 25 forced turnovers. 35 points off. That's just good. Not let’s go win in the Ferrell Center. 

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