EditorsNote: rewords second and fourth grafs
Baylor bolstered its NCAA Tournament credentials by racing past Oklahoma 87-64 on Tuesday night at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
At the same time, Oklahoma’s postseason future grew ever murkier as the Sooners lost for the seventh time in eight games. Oklahoma (17-12, 7-10 Big 12) can no longer reach .500 in conference play and likely needs a win at home over Iowa State on Friday to preserve its NCAA hopes.
Baylor (18-12, 8-9) established a 20-point lead at halftime, then stiff-armed the Sooners in the second half. Oklahoma never got closer than 15 points in the second half.
Forward Terry Maston scored 23 points to pace five Baylor players in double figures. Forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. added 17 points and 11 rebounds, and guard Manu Lecomte scored 16 points. Guard King McClure and forward Mark Vital each scored 10.
Point guard Trae Young led Oklahoma with 18 points and five assists, and guard Christian James pitched in 14. Young hit 7 of 20 shots from the floor, including 2 of 11 from 3-point range.
Oklahoma scored the first five points of the game, but Baylor took control before halftime.
Already leading 18-12, the Bears went on a 13-0 run, highlighted by a Vital slam on a full-court pass from Lecomte. Forward Nuni Omot then capped the spurt with a 3-pointer that put Baylor in front 31-12 with 4:32 left before halftime.
Baylor extended its largest lead to 22 on a layup by Lecomte. The Bears shot 50 percent from the field and scored 28 points in the paint in the first half.
Baylor’s efficiency helped the Bears throttle an Oklahoma squad that shot just 20 percent in the first 20 minutes.
Lual-Acuil scored 11 and grabbed eight boards before the break.
Young led Oklahoma with six points but had just one assist in the first half.
Baylor wraps up the regular season with a road trip to Kansas State on Saturday.
—Field Level Media