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Baylor basketball falls to No. 25 OU

Jan. 29, 2004

By Matt Richards, reporter

Timely buckets that squashed Baylor runs were the key to propelling the No. 25 University of Oklahoma Sooners past the Baylor Bears, 78-67. The loss drops Baylor to 6-12 on the year and 1-4 in conference play along with ending hopes of a two-game winning streak.

In the first half, after initial runs from the Sooners, the Bears kept the game close. With a minute left, freshman guard Carl Marshall hit a three pointer to close the gap, 20-28. However, on the ensuing possession, the Sooners passed through the Baylor defense for a layup and a foul. The three-point play halted the Baylor momentum heading into halftime and extended Oklahoma's lead, 31-21.

'We had two fouls to give, and we were trying to go for a steal,' head Coach Scott Drew said. 'It was a big play at the end of the half that shouldn't have happened.'

Eight Baylor turnovers that resulted in 14 Sooner points were some of the factors contributing to the halftime deficit. Foul trouble was another problem that plagued the Bears throughout the game. Sophomore forward Tommy Swanson had two quick fouls in the opening minutes of the half. Sophomore forward Corey Herring also was in trouble, fouling out with four minutes remaining in the game. Against the tall lineup of Oklahoma, the loss of Swanson and Herring to fouls was a tough blow.

But, heading out of the locker room, Baylor was down by 11. Known for their second half energy, the Bears came out firing, closing the gap to seven in only two minutes. However, a timely three-point bucket by freshman guard Lawrence McKenzie halted the Baylor run.

'They never really allowed us to make that run to have a chance to win the game,' Drew said. 'They kept us at a cushion by maintaining their poise by answering anything we had.'

From that point, the Sooners extended their lead to as much as 20 midway through the second half. But just as the rout seemed to be underway, the Bears clawed back into the game with sheer effort. At one point late in the second half, four of the five Bears on the court were on the floor, fighting for a rebound.

'We're not going to be competitive this year without the hustle,' Drew said. 'That kind of effort, and a little better execution, and the other team not coming up with the big shots [is what we need].'

With four minutes remaining, Baylor had closed the gap to 10 as a result of Swanson's jumper. But another timely bucket by the Sooners halted the run, this time by senior guard Jason Detrick. Detrick finished with a team high 15 points.

'Once a team gets up 10 or 12 points, it's tough to come back, especially in the Big 12,' senior forward Harvey Thomas said. 'They answered our threes for twos.'

Thomas finished with a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds. Junior forward Terrance Thomas added 18 points and six rebounds.