Lady Bears eye No. 1 ranking after rout of Sooners

Baylor center Kalani Brown (21), Oklahoma guard/forward Madi Williams (25) and Oklahoma guard Ana Llanusa (22) scramble to grab a rebound in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Associated Press

By Jessika Harkay | Sports Writer

No. 2-ranked Baylor women’s basketball defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 74-53 on Sunday afternoon in Norman, Okla., to advance to 17-1.

With No. 1-ranked Notre Dame falling to North Carolina on Sunday, the Lady Bears could be in line for the No. 1 ranking.

Baylor began the game with a turnover, putting Oklahoma on top early. A consistent back-and-forth scoring battle saw the Lady Bears hold a 20-13 lead going into the second quarter.

Due to the growing number of turnovers and missed shots in the mid-second quarter, the Sooners began to lose momentum and were unable to get a constant offensive going, going into the half down 38-25.

Baylor junior guard Juicy Landrum and Oklahoma freshman guard Taylor Robinson led their respective teams into the second half, both scoring nine points. Only down by 13 in the third quarter, there was still hope for the Sooners to catch up and pull off an upset against the Lady Bears.

In the fourth quarter, Baylor led 59-37 until Landrum gave a short-lived spark with three straight buckets to bring the Lady Bears to 71-45 — giving Baylor the last edge they needed for the win.

With the Lady Bears scoring an average of 18.5 points per quarter compared to Oklahoma’s 13.3, Baylor’s offense outplayed the Sooners’ defense. In the second half, the Lady Bears led the Sooners in field goal percentage 41 to 25.

Nearly half of Baylor’s 36 second-half points came from Oklahoma turnovers. A notable point of momentum also came from the Lady Bears being able to capitalize on offensive rebounds 23-9 against the Sooners.

Led by junior forward Lauren Cox, the Lady Bears had 50 rebounds, meanwhile, the Sooners had 32. Giving Baylor an opportunity to handle the ball more through their success in rebounds, nearly a third of the Lady Bears’ points came from second-chance points. Likewise, Baylor capitalized on assists (21) compared to Oklahoma (7).

The Lady Bears next play Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Stillwater, Okla.