By Jeffrey Swindoll
The No. 3 Lady Bears came close to finishing the Big 12 regular season undefeated, but came up short against the Oklahoma Sooners Wednesday night, losing their first game of conference play 68-64 in Norman, Okla.
Baylor (26-2, 15-1) snapped its 26-game winning streak with the loss to Oklahoma, but already clinched the outright Big 12 title and a No. 1-seed in the Big 12 Conference Tournament with Saturday’s win over TCU.
The Sooners, the only team to have beaten the Lady Bears in conference play this season, look to be the next favorite to give Baylor a run for its money at the conference tournament in a week.
Oklahoma’s guards lit up the scoreboard wednesday night, fueling a balanced victory from the Sooners that came down to the final possession. Peyton Little, Sharane Campbell-Olds, Gioya Carter and Kaylon Williams shared the scoring load for the Sooners, each scoring in double figures.
Sophomore forward Nina Davis’ 20 points along with junior guard Alexis Prince’s 16 points were not enough to overcome the Sooners on the road. The Lady Bears shot 26-64 overall from the field. Oklahoma was even worse than Baylor in that respect, shooting 22-57 overall.
Three-pointers and free-throw shooting were the difference on Wednesday. Oklahoma made six of 17 attempted three-pointers compared to Baylor two of seven. The Sooners shot 75 percent from the line, but made free throws when they needed them most, within the final two minutes of play.
There were 19 turnovers between the teams, 10 of which were committed by Baylor. The Lady Bears edged the Sooners in rebounding 42-36. The stats were quite evenly split down the middle for the most part.
The final moments clearly determined who would take home the win. Both teams traded the lead back in forth in the second half. The score was tied as late as within a minute of regulation ending. The Lady Bears committed fouls on defense and could not keep themselves alive on the offensive end of the floor in the last play of the game, down 64-67.
The Lady Bears continue their road trip to Ames, Iowa to take on Iowa State on Saturday for their penultimate regular season game.