By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
JANUARY 11, 2000
Jan. 11, 2000
Norman, Okla. - Lloyd Noble Center
Ranked 16th in the AP poll and 17th in the ESPN/USA Today version, Oklahoma improved to 14-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Big 12 with its 76-43 win over Baylor. It was the Sooners' fifth straight victory and gave the team its best 15-game start since the 1987-88 season (also 14-1).
Oklahoma's 33-point victory gave the program its first back-to-back 25-or-more point conference wins since the 1933-34 Big Six season. That year the Sooners beat Nebraska (53-23) and Kansas State (68-21) in consecutive home games. Last Saturday, OU downed Texas A&M in its Big 12 opener, 78-53, in Norman.
The Sooners led 36-13 at halftime. Baylor's 13-point first-half total was the lowest by an OU opponent in a half this year and the lowest since Nicholls State scored 11 in the first stanza last season (Dec. 12).
OU forced as many first-half Baylor turnovers (13) as it allowed points (13). Baylor did not score its first field goal until the 13:34 mark.
The Sooners ran their streak of forcing 20 or more turnovers to five games (Baylor committed 23 tonight). OU opponents are averaging 17.4 miscues per game this season while the Sooners are averaging 12.7.
Senior Eduardo Najera, one of 30 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, finished the game with 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a career-high six steals. The double-double was Najera's sixth of the season. He is the only Sooner to score in double figures in all 15 contests.
Freshman guard Hollis Price scored a career-high-tying 15 points tonight on 6-for-9 shooting and contributed three assists and two steals. Price registered three consecutive double-digit scoring efforts in early December but had averaged just 2.3 points over six games since.
Sophomore newcomer J.R. Raymond sank a career-high six three-pointers tonight on nine attempts and finished with a game-high 20 points, his most since scoring 22 versus Arkansas-Little Rock Dec. 11. The point guard has scored at least 20 points four times this year.
Baylor senior guard Tevis Stukes, who ranked third in the Big 12 by averaging 18.7 points per game entering tonight, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with eight points.
Oklahoma held Baylor to .318 field goal and .133 three-point shooting. Four of OU's last five opponents have failed to shoot .400 from the field and five of its last six foes have failed to shoot .300 from beyond the arc.
OU travels to 15th-ranked Texas Saturday for its first Big 12 road game of the year. The game, which starts at 8 p.m., will be televised by ESPN Regional. Last year the Sooners recorded a 6-2 league mark on the road, its best since going 6-1 in 1985 as a member of the Big Eight.