The Sooners had a quick turn around from Sunday as they faced the #1 Baylor Bears in Waco. The team was back in full force with Bijan Cortes, Tanner Groves, and Jacob Groves all back from COVID protocol.
Oklahoma kept it close the entire game only giving up a double digit deficit for a few minutes. They executed well on both ends of the floor, but when you’re playing the best team in the country “well” just isn’t enough. The Sooners were out rebounded and lost the turnover battle. Those stat lines make a difference in these types of matchups.
With just under a minute to go the Sooners cut the Bears lead to 77-72. Umoja Gibson had a good look from 3 that would have made it a two point game, but it was tipped by Flo Thamba of Baylor. After attempting to foul a few times the Bears coasted to a 84-74 win over the Sooners.
The Bears held a lead for most of the game and held the momentum throughout as well. Late in the second half Oklahoma started to make a push and the momentum began to shift. Just as this game was on the brink of disaster for Baylor, Matthew Mayer blocked a shot and turned it into points on the other end. This brought the crowd back to leave and put away the Sooners hopes of a comeback.
Although the Sooners came up short on Tuesday night there were several guys who played a key role in giving the team a shot for the win at the end. The first guy that comes to mind is Ethan Chargois. He gave OU a huge boost off the bench in his few minutes with 10 points on 4-6 shooting. Talk about making the most of your time on the court.
The future looks bright in Norman as true freshman Bijan Cortes was another standout off the bench for Oklahoma. It’s impressive to see a freshman with the level of floor vision he possesses. He dished out 3 assists and shot 3-3 from the floor for 6 points. Not bad for his first outing against the top team in the country.
The Problem Child
James Akinjo from Baylor led all scorers with 27 points. He shot 10-15 from the floor including 3-5 from beyond the arc. Oklahoma simply had no answer for his offense.
The Sooners will be back in action again on Saturday against the #11 Iowa State Cyclones. The good news is Oklahoma will be hosting in Norman. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 PM CST.
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