TBA, February 19, 2002
Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas
WACO, Texas (AP) -- Oklahoma finally responded to coach Kelvin Sampson's simple message."I told our guys that this team's not going to give it to you," Sampson said. "Baylor's not an easy team to play because they're one of the few teams we play that don't beat themselves. You have to beat Baylor."So after going back and forth with Baylor for most of the game, the Sooners (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) finally put together a late 10-0 run to beat the Bears 65-54, their 16th straight victory over Baylor.Oklahoma (21-4, 10-3 Big 12) led 51-50, then Quannas White hit a 3-pointer with 5:35 left to start the run that lasted two minutes and saw four players score.By the time Ebi Ere followed a missed 3-pointer by Hollis Price, Baylor (14-12, 4-9) trailed 61-50."The last five minutes was good in every area we played ... shot selection, defense and rebounding," Sampson said. "It was a good road win."Price, Ere and Aaron McGhee each scored 15 points for the Sooners. Price added two free throws and McGhee had a 3-pointer in the deciding run.Baylor's last win in the series was 75-67 on Dec. 6, 1977 -- when current Bears coach Dave Bliss was the Sooners' coach. Oklahoma has a 21-5 lead in the series and has won nine straight games in Waco."This game was similar to lots of games we have played. We have a chance, but we don't make the plays when we have to," Bliss said. "The tempo was good. We just didn't take advantage of the opportunities when we had them."Before the Sooners blew the game open, the teams traded the lead six times in a two-minute span without a missed shot. McGhee's 3-pointer put the Sooners ahead to stay at 48-47.John Lucas then missed a 3-pointer for the Bears to end the furious stretch, and Price hit another 3-pointer for the Sooners."We have got to stop trading baskets with teams. We can't let that happen down the stretch," Price said. "Late in the game, we didn't let them get back."Price, the Sooners' leading scorer at 16.4 per game, had scored just 35 points the previous four games. McGhee, who had three 3-pointers, also had 10 rebounds.It was a basket by Lucas that got Baylor within 51-50 before White started the game-deciding run.Lucas led Baylor with 19 points on 9-of-18 shooting, but missed all three of his 3-pointers. Lawrence Roberts, a freshman like Lucas, had 13 points and eight rebounds.The Bears, second in the Big 12 with nine 3-pointers a game, were just 3-of-22 from long range to match a season-low."We were anxious on offense and weren't getting set," Roberts said. "It was a combination of bad shots and good defense."Lucas sparked Baylor with seven points in the opening five minutes of the second half, including a three-point play that tied the game at 37. All three baskets in that stretch by the 5-foot-10 freshman were inside.Jason Detrick's 3-pointer gave Oklahoma a 31-24 lead, but the Sooners didn't score over the final three minutes of the half. Baylor managed just two free throws and a dunk by Roberts in the same stretch.
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