With a perfect record against Baylor in Big 12 conference play, Oklahoma doesn’t appear to have much of a challenge in Wednesday night’s matchup in Waco. But Sooners coach Jeff Capel is not one to let his team rest on past successes.
While No. 2 Oklahoma goes for its 12th win in a row overall and 30th straight victory over Baylor, the Bears are trying to snap a season-high five-game skid and a drought at home against the Sooners that dates to Dec. 14, 1954.
Oklahoma (23-1, 9-0) arrives at the Ferrell Center following Saturday’s 77-72 win over Colorado. The Sooners defeated the then-No. 25 Bears 77-71 in their last visit to Waco on Jan. 26, 2008.
Oklahoma is 25-0 against Baylor since the Big 12 started before the 1996-97 season.
“Our players know they haven’t lost to them, but it doesn’t matter,” Capel said following the Sooners’ 95-76 win over the Bears on Jan. 24.
Blake Griffin had 20 points and 17 boards in that matchup. On Wednesday, the sophomore is looking for his seventh straight double-double—and Division I-leading 21st of the season—after scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 boards in Saturday’s victory.
Griffin is scoring 21.5 points per game and averaging 14.0 boards since the Sooners’ 96-88 loss to Arkansas on Dec. 30. The 6-foot-10 Griffin will likely be matched up with Baylor 6-9 senior Kevin Rogers, who had 11 points and eight rebounds in the Jan. 24 meeting.
Rogers is fifth in the Big 12, averaging 7.9 boards.
With Griffin dominating the paint, junior guard Tony Crocker added 24 points against the Buffaloes with a career-high seven 3-pointers in 11 attempts. Crocker hit 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and scored 12 in the Sooners’ win against Baylor last month.
“That’s the beauty of our team. On any different night, we can have five different guys go for 20, and that’s hard to guard,” Griffin said. “It’s hard for another team to scheme against us. They can shut down us inside … but if our guards are hot, it kind of changes the game for us.”
Among these guards is Willie Warren. The freshman from Fort Worth had 17 points in 24 minutes in Oklahoma’s victory over Baylor in January.
“Willie Warren was the best player in the state last year,” Bears coach Scott Drew said. “He really hurt us the first time we played.”
Baylor leading scorer Curtis Jerrells snapped a string of 15 straight misses from the field on Saturday by hitting 7-of-16 and scoring 20 points in an 83-76 loss at Texas Tech. Jerrells, though, has shot 49.5 percent from the field and averaged 19.1 points in seven career games against the Sooners.
While Baylor (15-8, 3-6) is trying for its first win over Oklahoma since a 75-67 victory on Dec. 6. 1977, the Bears are also trying to snap their first five-game slide since dropping 20 in a row bridging the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.
“The big thing is that the last four games, within the last five minutes of the game, each one of the games was winnable,” said Drew, whose team has dropped three of its last four by 10 points or less.
LaceDarius Dunn needs one 3 on Wednesday to tie Tevis Stukes’ school record with 29 straight games with a 3-pointer. Dunn hit 4-of-13 from long range and scored 20 in the Jan. 24 loss to the then-No. 6 Sooners.
Oklahoma is 15-2 all-time in Waco.