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Bears snap 30-game losing streak to Oklahoma

Jan. 9, 2010

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Rod Aydelotte | Associated Press/Waco Tribune Herald
LaceDarius Dunn (24) shoots over Steven Pledger, left, in the second half. Dunn scores 28 points to help defeat Oklahoma 91-60.

By Justin Baer
Sports editor

The albatross that has hung mercilessly around the neck of the Baylor men's basketball program for more than three decades was finally removed, as the Bears dismantled the University of Oklahoma 91-60 in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams Saturday evening at the Ferrell Center.

Baylor (13-1, 1-0) snapped a 30-game losing streak against Oklahoma (9-6, 0-1) dating back to Dec. 7, 1977, and Scott Drew's squad topped the Sooners for the first time in Waco since the Dwight Eisenhower administration (Dec. 14, 1954).

"That was for all of our old players and old coaches that haven't gotten the chance to beat OU in a long time," said head coach Scott Drew, who was 7-years-old the last time Baylor beat Oklahoma. "That was the last thorn that we needed to get out of our sides."

LaceDarius Dunn scored 23 of his game-high 28 points in the second half, and Tweety Carter posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists while yielding only two turnovers.

"Tweety starts the offense and the defense, so when he is on, he makes everyone else that much better," Drew said of Carter, who has 19 assists and only three turnovers in the last two games. "I know he wanted to get us off to a good job (in conference play). And I think he did a really good job of that."

Meanwhile, Ekpe Udoh, coming off the fifth triple-double in school history, finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks.

Baylor used a 30-6 run to cap the first half, and carried over the momentum into the second half as the Bears surged past the Sooners in the final 20 minutes and sent a convincing message to the rest of the conference.

"This is the best Baylor team since I have been at Oklahoma," Sooners head coach Jeff Capel said. "Their decision to move into a zone defense has really changed their team. You can tell their guys believe in it."

The Sooners jumped out to an early lead with the help of Tiny Gallon, who led the Sooners with 17 points. Capel depicted Baylor's zone and used the 296-pound Gallon's deft quickness to give Oklahoma an early 20-11 lead.

From there, the Bears made defensive adjustments during a power-outage delay, and the results were instantaneous as Baylor began a 14-0 run.

An and-one basket from Udoh brought the Bears within six points. Three possessions later, Dunn's left-handed lay up tied the game at 20. Carter hit a fade-away 3-point basket from the wing gave the Bears their first lead of the game.

"We got down early but we stayed together," Carter said. "We calmed down. I guess we were too hyped for this game. We really wanted to play tonight and show that we can play this game. But it doesn't stop here."

Carter got his apprentice A.J. Walton involved in the final minutes of the half, as the Reserve, La., native found the freshman wide open in the corner, and Walton splashed a 3-pointer to give Baylor a 12-point lead. On the ensuing possession, Dunn nailed a trey of his own, and Walton's put back as time expired tacked on to the Bears' first halftime lead against Oklahoma since Feb. 18, 1998.

"If we can get stops that leads to offensive opportunities," Udoh said. "During that run, we got stops, and we got the crowd going."

The Sooners never sniffed into erasing Baylor's double-digit lead. Dunn engineered an offensive smorgasbord and discovered his impeccable touch.

"I came out to play and have fun," Dunn said of his second half performance. "I came out in the second half and did a good job of taking good shots. And my teammates were doing a good job of finding me."

Quincy Acy accentuated the win with 12:18 left in the game when Carter lofted a pass from half-court and Acy pounded it into the basket.

Baylor travels to Boulder, Colo., on Tuesday to face-off against the University of Colorado. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.