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Oklahoma shoots down Bears+ chance at No. 7 spot

March 3, 1997

Oklahoma shoots down Bears' chance at No. 7 spot

Kevin Johnson / The Baylor Lariat

Doug Brandt, a Hastings, Neb., senior, sits behind the team as they sing the Baylor Line in the University's loss to Oklahoma Saturday in the Ferrell Special Events Center.

Kevin Johnson / The Baylor Lariat

Bryan Skinner,a Temple junior, sends one through the net for two after breaking away on Saturday against Oklahoma in the Bears' final home game of the season.

By Jeff Huett

Assistant City Editor/Sports

Baylor's chances at grabbing the No. 7 seed in the Big XII tournament and avoiding a possible second round game against the University of Kansas were dashed Saturday as the University of Oklahoma defeated the Bears, 72­61, in the Ferrell Special Events Center.

After earning a conference road win at Kansas State on Wednesday night, Baylor returned home to its final regular season home game in hopes that a win would propel them into a seventh seed in the Big 12 tournament and a possible bid to the National Invitational Tournament. However, Oklahoma was not too accommodating.

Doug Brandt, a Hastings, Neb., senior opened the game with a three-point shot from the top of the key, but the defenses controlled the first half of play.

The lead changed six times in the early minutes until Nate Erdmann nailed a jumper with 5:43 remaining in the half, extending the Sooners' lead to seven, 24­17.

Just when things were starting to go the Sooners' way, Corey Brewer, Oklahoma's second leading scorer, picked up three quick fouls. However, Baylor reacted to Brewer's absence by scoring just three points in the final four minutes of the half.

Erdmann then took control of the game by nailing a three pointer from the corner and then converting two free throw opportunities, to give Oklahoma the momentum and the lead, 34­27.

The Sooners came out in the second half and continued where they left off.

After being held scoreless from the 14:41 mark to Roddrick Miller's trey with 8:45 left, the Bears clawed away at the Sooner lead.

A jumper by Bryan Skinner, a Temple junior, from the top of the key, earned Baylor the lead, 53­52 with 6:40 left.

The momentum once again left the Bears' side when with the game tied at 57, Oklahoma's Tim Heskett hit a three pointer to give the Sooners the three-point advantage. After a Baylor turnover and foul, Oklahoma's Evan Wiley hit a couple of free throws.

Heskett extended the Sooners' lead to eight points, 65­57 with a three-point basket and 1:53 remaining.

From there, Oklahoma hit free throws and cruised to the victory over the Bears.

The loss drops Baylor's record to 18­11 and 6­10 in the conference, but more importantly, lessens the chances for a Baylor trip to the NIT.

'We just didn't have it today,' Patrick Hunter, a Texarkana, Ark., junior said. 'We had the momentum, but things didn't go our way down the stretch.'

Baylor head coach Harry Miller pointed to some Baylor mistakes but takes no credit away from the Oklahoma team in the Bears' loss.

'The Oklahoma team is hot right now. They're probably the second best team in the league right now,' Miller said.

The Bears begin Big XII tournament play on Thursday and hope to earn enough wins to get some postseason tournament bids.

'Our goal is to go into that arena in Kansas City and win one game, then another game, and then another,' Miller said. 'We're not looking any farther than our next opponent.'

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