Playing in its first true road game of the season, Baylor took advantage of the absence of Sooners’ leading scorer, senior guard Jordan Woodard, en route to a 76-50 victory over Oklahoma in Norman.
“Well I know they (Oklahoma) weren’t at full strength number one. That’s first and foremost, but I thought we were sharp after the break and again I have to credit our upperclassmen for making sure everyone was ready to go,” said head coach Scott Drew. “This was just one game and we’ve had games were we played well and then we didn’t play well the next game, so after this bus ride it’ll be about refocusing on the next game.”
Junior forward Jonathan Motley put on an offensive clinic against the Sooners. He scored inside with a variety of post moves, as well as stepping out and hitting the deep jump shot. Motley finished with 19 points on 9-15 from the field and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Bears.
Baylor jumped out to an early 11-2 advantage, thanks in part to some good three-point shooting. Both Motley and junior forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. hit from downtown and controlled the paint, in the scoring column and on the glass. The Bears outscored the Sooners 38-16 in the paint and out-rebounded them 46-30.
Junior guard Manu Lecomte got into the scoring mix, connecting on four of his five three-point attempts. He finished with 14 points and dished out four assists and did not commit a turnover.
“I felt great tonight, my teammates did a great job of finding me as always,” Lecomte said. “Just got to keep shooting.”
Lual-Acuil Jr. was the third double figure scorer for Drew’s team. He chipped in with 12 points and 8 rebounds and hit both of his three-point attempts.
Baylor’s 1-1-3 zone frustrated the Sooners all game long, holding them to just 33% shooting from the field. Without Woodard, Oklahoma was unable to ever establish any kind of offensive rhythm, either in the paint or along the perimeter.
“Everyone was just playing with a lot of energy flying around and doing the things they needed to do,” Motley said. “They like to shoot a lot of 3s and we were just trying to make them put the ball on the floor and finish over our bigs.”
Sophomore guard Christian James was the lone Sooner in double figures, as he finished with 11 points.
“We’ve got to step up. It’s a new team and we’ve got to regroup,” James said. “I think that was an eye-opener for us to let us know how much work we have to do. We’ve got to keep working every day.”
With the trip to Oklahoma being Baylor’s first true road challenge, Drew is thankful to get out of Lloyd Noble Center with a hard earned win.
“I remember a lot of trips up here that didn’t go very well,” Drew said. “This is a tough place to play and they always have great players and coaches. A lot of respect for Coach Kruger and his staff.”
Oklahoma drops to 6-6, 0-1 in the Big 12 while Baylor improves to 13-0 and 1-0 in the conference.The Bears will host the Iowa State Cyclones at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Ferrell Center. The game will be aired on ESPNEWS.