The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 2nd, 3:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lloyd Noble Center (12,000) — Norman, Oklahoma. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Baylor 12-1, Oklahoma 10-1. Away Record: Baylor 1-2, Oklahoma 1-4. Neutral Record: Baylor 1-3, Oklahoma 0-4. Conference Record: Baylor 4-3, Oklahoma 3-3. Series Record: Oklahoma leads, 35-8.
GAME NOTES: The Baylor Bears will look to complete a series sweep of the Oklahoma Sooners today, as the two teams square off in a Big 12 Conference showdown at the Lloyd Noble Center. The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was moved due to inclement weather in the Norman area.
The Bears downed the Sooners 74-61 on January 11th to earn their second Big 12 victory of the season. They followed the win with two consecutive losses, before earning victories in two of their last three games to move to 4-3 in league play.
After starting the Big 12 portion of their schedule with three straight losses, the Sooners have rebounded to win three straight, evening their league mark at 3-3 in the process. They have won 10 of 11 games in the Lloyd Noble Center this season.
With respect to the all-time series, tonight’s matchup marks the 44th meeting between Baylor and Oklahoma. The Sooners currently hold a 38-8 lead over the Bears.
Baylor last played on Saturday, earning a 70-66 win over Colorado to move above .500 in Big 12 play. The Bears exhibited an impressive amount of resiliency and poise in the win, overcoming a 14 point halftime deficit to come out on top. Trailing 35-21 at the break, the Bears reeled off 49 points over the final 20 minutes to complete the comeback. LacDarius Dunn led the charge, scoring a game-high 26 points on the night, while pulling down seven rebounds and handing out six assists. Perry Jones III added 14 points and six rebounds and Quincy Acy provided a needed spark off the bench, netting 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and 5-of-7 shooting from the charity stripe. Baylor shot 60 percent from the floor in the frenzied second half, including 3-of-4 from downtown. Dunn continues to be a scoring dynamo for the Bears. He averages 21.1 ppg and has knocked down a team-high 64 three-pointers on 42.9 percent shooting from deep. Jones III and Acy provide a solid frontline punch. Jones ranks second on the team in both scoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding (7 rpg), while Acy grabs a team-high 7.8 rpg and ranks third on the team in scoring at 13.1 ppg. Baylor scores 72.3 ppg, but truly earns win on the defensive end of the floor, limiting teams to just 61.3 ppg.
Oklahoma’s third straight win did not come easy, as it took overtime to down Iowa State, 82-76, on Saturday. It also took the best game of sophomore guard Steven Pledger’s collegiate career to make the victory possible. Pledger racked up a career-high 38 points in the win, with 12 of those points coming in the overtime frame. He shot 12-of-20 from the field, including 7-of-13 from the three-point line and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe, while handing out three assists against zero turnovers. He essentially lifted the team onto his back, as only one other Sooner scored in double figures. Cameron Clark netted 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Pledger accounted for 12 of his team’s 15 points in the overtime period. While his performance was extraordinary, it wasn’t entirely shocking. Pledger has show an ability to score in his time at Oklahoma and currently ranks third on the team at 12.6 ppg and first on the team with 44 three-pointers. Andrew Fitzgerald paces the Sooners in both scoring (13.7 ppg) and rebounding (5.3 ppg), while Cade Davis ranks second in both scoring (13 ppg) and rebounding (5.2 rpg). The Sooners score a solid, but unspectacular 67.7 ppg, while allowing 66.8 ppg on the defensive end.
Baylor is a strong defensive squad, but it has played just three true road games on the year. Oklahoma has been rolling of late and its decisive homecourt advantage should provide the edge tonight.