Feb. 25, 2012
Pierre Jackson and Brady Heslip hit four 3-pointers each, and both hit from long range in the Bears’ game-turning run midway through the second half on the way to a 70-60 victory over Oklahoma on Saturday.
“We just had a hard time getting into our offense (before halftime). In the second half, we came out more focused and executed more,” Jackson said. “We all had a good game, but I was fortunate to get open and my teammates found me. I got some good screens, hit some shots.”
The game was tied for the 12th time before Jackson’s 3 put the Bears (24-5, 11-5 Big 12) up 49-46 with 10:48 left. That also started a game-turning 13-2 run that was capped by consecutive 3-pointers by Heslip.
Jackson finished with 18 points, while Heslip had 16. Coach Scott Drew even had them on the court some with another guard, A.J. Walton.
“These guys are great ball handlers and great passers,” Heslip said. “Pierre is lightning quick on offense and defense. A.J. can lock the other guy down. We’re all kind of different in our own ways, but we kind of play off each other.”
Oklahoma (14-14, 4-12) went for 0 for 12 from long range and ended a streak of 510 games with at least one 3-pointer. The last time that happened was Dec. 23, 1996, at Memphis.
“We had some looks from 3, obviously we didn’t make any today. We need those guys to keep looking and stay aggressive,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “When Baylor is in a zone, those are the shots you’re going to get. Again, ranginess I’m sure affected some of those. We have to step up there and shoot them aggressively.”
Steven Pledger, despite going 0 for 5 on 3s, had 21 points to lead the Sooners, while Romero Osby and Cameron Clark had 12 points each.
Baylor, the league’s top-shooting team from beyond the arc, has made a 3-pointer in 648 consecutive games.
Quincy Miller had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Bears, whose 11th Big 12 victory matched the most in school history.
Oklahoma led 34-31 at halftime. A 3-pointer by Jackson about 3 minutes into the second half tied the game at 36, and the teams went back and forth until Baylor’s big spurt.
“Second halves have been very good in our last two games. Maybe it’s our depth and wearing people down a little bit,” Drew said. “Or maybe it’s just us making more plays and playing with more energy.”
Baylor goes into the final week of the regular season tied with Iowa State for third place in the Big 12.
The Bears play their home finale Monday night against Texas Tech, when Quincy Acy, Fred Ellis and Anthony Jones will be honored as the winningest senior class in program history with 94 wins. They go on the road to play the Cyclones next Saturday.
Osby’s jumper with 11 minutes left tied the game at 46. But the Sooners didn’t make another field goal for nearly 6 minutes. They were still down 59-50 when Andrew Fitzgerald ended their shooting drought.
“We didn’t shoot it as quite as well, thanks to their length and ranginess. We missed some opportunities,” Kruger said. “They knocked down opportunities to take an even ballgame to 8-10, and we fight from that deficit the rest of the way. We’ve got to get better.”
The Sooners finished shooting 39 percent (23 of 59), the same as Baylor (21 of 54). The difference was the 3-pointers (8-0) and free throws (20-14).
Oklahoma kept the halftime lead after Miller threw up an air ball when taking an open 3-pointer from in front of the Sooners bench with 5 seconds left.
Perry Jones III, limited to only two points and 9 minutes in the first half because of two early fouls, scored four of Baylor’s first nine points after halftime.
” I thought Perry really made some good moves and we didn’t take advantage of it,” Drew said. “All our frontline guys really didn’t finish at the rate they normally do. Credit Oklahoma for good defense. And at the same time, I thought we did have good looks from 3. … The dog days of February sometimes come out. I thought a lot of shots were short today for both teams.”
Baylor took a 51-48 lead on Jones’ running jumper in the lane. Walton then blocked a layup attempt by Tyler Neal.
Jones attempted a 3 on the other end that bounced off the rim to the right. Walton grabbed the rebound and shot it back in one motion for a 53-48 Baylor lead with 8:26 left and Baylor went on to complete its fourth Big 12 series sweep this season.