By Krista Pirtle
If there was any question why the Baylor Lady Bears have held the No. 1 spot for five weeks, they were all answered Wednesday night in Waco as the Lady Bears continued their winning streak of now 17 games, dominating the Oklahoma Sooners 92-70.
From Baylor’s 17-2 start, the Sooners never had a chance to answer back and shorten the gap, seeing as Baylor was firing from all cylinders, hitting 50 percent from the floor.
“We were hitting on all cylinders,” Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey said. “When you can pass a ball around the way we did and hit shots from many places on the floor, you’re going to have a good night.”
Melissa Jones showed senior leadership, opening and closing the first half with a pair of treys, finishing the game with 14 points and six assists.
The Sooners had no answer for Brittney Griner; once she found her rhythm, their only hope of stopping her was to foul. But that wasn’t very effective either, as Griner went 11-15 from the free throw line.
Griner led the Lady Bears with 29, followed by Destiny Williams with 19.
In the paint, Baylor overpowered the Sooners, outscoring them 52-6. Griner and Williams combined accounted for 48.
Freshman Aaryn Ellenberg led the way for Oklahoma with 27, hitting seven shots from behind the arc. Right behind her was Danielle Robinson, acquiring 25 with her last-minute bucket from half court, while Whitney Hand contributed 10.
The Lady Bears left the hardwood at halftime with a commanding 41-17 lead.
In the second half, Oklahoma outscored Baylor 53-51, mostly because of Aaryn Ellenberg’s hot streak, totaling 25 points. The Lady Bears look to set things right from their loss last year in Stillwater, Okla., as they take on Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Men fall in Norman
It was looking like the blizzard conditions and the postponement of the game was going to assist Baylor in a win, but as time dragged on in the second half, the cold seemed to take its toll, not only on the outside, but on the Baylor basket as well.
After holding a seven-point lead with 15 minutes remaining in the game, the turnover-plagued Bears fell to Oklahoma, 73-66, at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.
Oklahoma freshman Cameron Clark led all scorers with 25 points
Baylor freshman Perry Jones III led the Bears with 19, followed by Anthony Jones with 16 and LaceDarius Dunn with 15.
Anthony Jones had a big game for Baylor offensively, going 7 for 9 from inside the arc and 2 for 3 from beyond it. He usually averages nine points a game, but Wednesday afternoon he had obtained 12 points by half time. Quincy Acy came in as the sixth man for the fourth game in the row, scoring 11 points, six boards and three blocks.
Baylor finished the first half with a lead of 39-34 and only four turnovers.
A turnover by senior LaceDarius Dunn with 14:42 sparked an eight-minute, 17-2 Sooner run, as they capitalized on the Bears’ seven turnovers by scoring nine points. Baylor went without a bucket for 5:26 during this run.
The momentum seemed to be turning back toward Baylor with 2:57 left as Oklahoma sophomore Andrew Fitzgerald trekked his way to the bench with five fouls; however, the Bears couldn’t recapture the lead, closing the gap to three with 31 seconds left.
Oklahoma pulled away as Carl Blair went 4-5 from the line as Baylor fouled desperately to gain some more offensive chances.
Baylor next looks to find a win as they face Texas A&M at 1 p.m. in College Station Saturday.