Oklahoma at Baylor
Tip: 8:00 PM (Central)
Location: Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
TV: ESPN 2
Mo Gibson has been the story this week for Oklahoma basketball. After coming off the bench to score 29 points in OU’s upset of #9 West Virginia the Big 12 named him both the conference Player of the Week, Big 12 Newcomer of the Week. In addition he was also named the NCAA.com National Player of the Week.
Gibson’s 29 points came on a 10-of-14 performance from the floor. It is the second most points off the bench by any major-conference player this season and his career-high eight 3-pointers are tied for the most by a non-starter in any Division I game this season. Now he returns home to face the second-ranked Baylor Bears.
A native of Waco, Texas, Gibson attended high school just down the road from the Baylor campus. He’s faced with the task of helping Oklahoma end a six-game losing streak to the Bears. The Sooners haven’t beaten Baylor since January 30, 2018 and haven’t won in Waco since 2016.
Oklahoma owns a 45-19 record against Baylor and played the Bears to within 61-57 in Waco last season. Baylor was ranked #1 going into that game so traveling to play the nation’s #2 team shouldn’t be intimidating. That said, this is a better Baylor team than last year and Oklahoma is going to require a big game from multiple people to pull a second-consecutive Top 10 upset.
The Bears are a perfect 9-0 and are winning games by an average score of 93-62. Shooting 51.6% from the floor as a team, four Baylor players average double figures in scoring led by Jared Butler’s 16 points per game.
Long Kruger will try to counter that with the trio of Austin Reaves, Brady Manek, and Mo Gibson. Those three have hit the 29-point mark or better on three separate occasions this season. Manek went off for 29 points against UTSA (Dec. 3) and Reaves scored 32 at TCU (Dec. 6). That makes Oklahoma the only team in the country with three different players boasting 29-point performances this season. Those three must all perform at a high level tonight for the Sooners to have a chance.
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