Jan. 11, 2000

By OWEN CANFIELD
AP Sports Writer

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Baylor turned the ball over on four of its first five possessions against No. 16 Oklahoma, and things got no better after that.

The Bears didn't score a basket until about 6 1/2 minutes into the game and had only 13 points in the first half as Oklahoma rolled to a 76-43 victory Tuesday night.

Oklahoma forced 22 turnovers, held the Bears to 32 percent shooting and made it a miserable return for coach Dave Bliss. Bliss, in his first year at Baylor, coached the Sooners from 1975-80 and had not been back since.

"If I didn't have to play the basketball team, it would have been terrific," Bliss said.

"Oklahoma is special to this coach," he said. "We went through a similar period with OU that first year. We struggled a little bit but by the end of conference we got to be competitive. That's our goal with the Baylor Bears."

That may take some doing. Baylor (9-4, 0-2 Big 12) also scored only 43 points in its conference opener against Texas last week.

J.R. Raymond made six 3-pointers and scored 20 to lead Oklahoma (14-1, 2-0). Eduardo Najera had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and freshman Hollis Price tied his career high with 15 points.

"We did a good job of sustaining our effort from timeout to timeout," coach Kelvin Sampson said. "We got after their shooters, took away things they like to do, our guards did a good job of pressuring.

"It's good to see our kids do that. Effort is important in everything we do in life."

Baylor, which scored only 17 in the first half against Texas, was held to the second-fewest points in a half in school history. The school record is seven points, against Illinois State in 1984.

The Bears' first field goal came on Steve Othoro's follow dunk at the 13:38 mark. Terry Black added a steal and dunk 20 seconds later to make the score 13-8.

Oklahoma made sure Baylor got no closer. While the Bears turned the ball over on five of six possessions, the Sooners got two 3-pointers from Raymond and another from Tim Heskett to push the lead to 22-5.

A 13-1 run a few minutes later gave Oklahoma a 35-9 lead. The Bears didn't crack double figures until Jamie Kendrick's two free throws made the score 35-11 with 1:32 left in the half.

"I thought our defense really dominated Baylor in terms of getting them out of their offense," Sampson said.

Oklahoma had eight 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 11. Baylor was 2-of-15 from behind the arc and committed 22 turnovers.

Kendrick scored 15, the only Baylor player in double figures. Black scored six and Tevis Stukes had eight - both were held 10 points below their averages.