Bears break Big 12 wins record in Norman

Baylor guard Jared Butler shoots in front of Oklahoma guard Jamal Bieniemy, left, during the first half of a Big 12 game Tuesday in Norman, Okla. Associated Press

No. 1 Baylor men’s basketball extended its win streak to conference record proportions Tuesday night with a 65-54 win over Oklahoma. The 23 straight victories oust Kansas’ previous record of 22 set in 1996-97.

With redshirt junior guard MaCio Teague out for the second game in a row, sophomore guard Jared Butler stepped up with 22 points, five rebounds and three assists. Redshirt junior forward Mark Vital was the only other Bear in double digits with 10 points.

Redshirt senior Freddie Gillespie led Baylor in rebounding with 10 boards alongside six points and three blocks, junior Tristan Clark worked up eight points on 4-6 shooting with four rebounds in just 13 minutes and redshirt sophomore Davion Mitchell craftily filled up his score sheet with seven points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals.

The game was close for the first 11 minutes of play as Baylor lead just 16-15, but the Bears ran off 12 straight points to silence the crowd at the Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners responded with a 9-0 run, and the half ended with Baylor up 30-24 after a layup by sophomore Matthew Mayer ended the Oklahoma onslaught.

The second half was even through the first four minutes before the Sooners flashed seven points in a row to drop Baylor’s lead to one. Over the next four and a half minutes the Bears methodically recovered their lead to 12 points and held it the rest of the way, never letting it drop below seven points over the final eight minutes of play.

With their seven-man rotation, Baylor held Oklahoma to just 37% shooting from the field and 24% from behind the arc, and while the Sooners improved from the field overall by two percentage points from their last meeting in Waco, the shooting from deep dropped by 12 points. The Bears also dominated the paint, scoring 30 points as compared to Oklahoma’s 20.

Baylor will return home for a matchup with No. 3 Kansas at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Ferrell Center. ESPN’s “College GameDay” will also return to Waco this weekend for the first and only time since a 2011 game against Texas which the Bears lost 60-54. The contest Saturday will be aired on ESPN directly following the “College GameDay” broadcast which begins at 10 a.m.