Oklahoma scored a season high in points and won for the fourth time in five games with its 90-76 home victory over Baylor. OU, which never trailed, improved to 18-8 overall and 9-5 in the Big 12 while Baylor fell to 16-11 and 7-7.
"It was a good win for our guys,” said Oklahoma Coach Lon Kruger. “I thought the first half was pretty good offensively and maybe a little better defensively. I thought they opened the game really well-focused and have done a great job getting each other ready to play. I thought they did that again today. The second half got pretty chopped up, but still a good win. These guys played great and we need that to continue."
OU raced to a 19-8 lead with 14:30 left in the first half and led 47-21 at halftime. The 47 first-half points and 26-point halftime advantage marked season highs.
"This group has done such a great job of getting each other ready to play,” said Kruger. “We have talked about that several games in a row here. They really opened up the game with good energy and good focus. Again, the older guys have done a terrific job with that from a leadership standpoint. It doesn't just happen; you have to prepare to make that happen each game. They have done a good job of that, but we have four more times they have to do that."
Sam Grooms scored 23 points to set a new career best for the second time in three games, Steven Pledger had 17 of his 19 points in the first half as Oklahoma built a big lead and the Sooners held off Baylor's comeback attempt for a 90-76 victory on Saturday.
"I've just been in the gym working hard, just about every day, trying to build confidence in myself first,” said Grooms. “And then every day, my teammates, Ro (Romero Osby) says every day that if I don't shoot the shots that I shoot in practice in the game, how are people going to actually respect me. He has said some things that have motivated me. I'm a senior and I want to win right now. If that's going to help the team, I'm just going to do whatever it takes at this point in time."
"Our seniors are good people to start with,” said Kruger. “They all want to play and all want to compete for minutes, but at the heart of it all they are really good people. They are concerned about the team. They are competitors and they want to get in there, but they handle it well. If not then we probably wouldn't be having the success at all. So credit to them in terms of thinking about the team and what we have to do to make the team as good as possible."
The Sooners are back in action on Wednesday when they play at Texas at 8 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on ESPN2.