By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Foundation
NORMAN, Okla. - Baylor's "second season" started a lot like the first ended, with the fourth-ranked Bears opening Big 12 play with a 76-50 blowout of the Oklahoma Sooners Friday night at the Lloyd Noble Center.
After holding OU (6-6, 0-1) to the fewest first-half points by an opponent in a Big 12 road game in the Scott Drew era - taking a 36-17 lead at the break - the Bears (13-0) led by as many as 34 in winning at the Noble Center for just the fifth time in 27 trips.
"I remember a lot of trips up here that didn't go well. This is a tough place to play," said Drew, who is 3-11 at Norman. "I know they weren't at full strength, that's first and foremost. Second of all, I thought we were sharp after the break. You've got to credit our upperclassmen for making sure they were ready to go."
Boy, were they.
Motley, Manu Lecomte and Jo Lual-Acuil hit 3-pointers as the Bears got out to an 11-2 start in the first four minutes.
Playing without senior point guard Jordan Woodard and sophomore forward Dante Buford, who were both sitting out with injuries, the Sooners struggled to get anything going on the offensive end.
OU shot just 26 percent in the first half (7-of-27), including 3-of-12 from outside the 3-point arc, and 32.7 percent for the game (17-of-52). Christian James hit three second-half 3-pointers, finishing with a game-high 11 points as the Sooners' only double-figure scorers.
"Everybody was just playing with a lot of energy, flying around, making them do the things they don't want to do," said Motley, who posted his fourth double-double of the season and ninth of his career with 19 points, 13 rebounds and a season-high three blocks. "They like to shoot a lot of 3's, and we were just trying to make them put it on the floor and them finish over our bigs."
After OU pulled to within 11-7, Baylor reeled off 10 straight points. Motley started it with a layup, then back-to-back buckets by Lual-Acuil, a Lecomte jumper and Jake Lindsey layup, stretching the lead to 21-7.
"We were a little timid early," OU coach Lon Kruger said. "I don't think it was effort as much as it was deer in the headlight. I think their length and size bothered us. We had some decent looks early that didn't go. We've got to compete harder to get results. To compete in this league, we've got to do more."
Kameron McGusty knocked down a trey for the Sooners' only points in a closing 11-3 run by the Bears that made it 36-17 at the break. That's the fewest first-half points the Bears have allowed in a Big 12 game since Texas Tech scored just 15 on Feb. 27, 2012, at the Ferrell Center.
Motley nearly matched OU's scoring output by himself, hitting 6-of-10 from the field and scoring 13 of his game-high 19 points in the first half.
"We were definitely confident. And we believe in ourselves," Motley said. "We've got some goals we want to accomplish, and everyone's locked in on those goals. And it showed out there."
Things didn't get much better for the Sooners in the second half. Motley actually matched their point total with a pair of layups in the first minute and a half, giving Baylor a comfortable 40-17 lead.
The Bears stretched it to a 31-point lead, 60-29, when Lual-Acuil hit a layup off a sweet wrap-around pass from Terry Maston at the 9:46 mark.
Baylor took its biggest lead of the night, 67-33, when Al Freeman buried a 3-pointer with 6:20 left in the game for his only basket. With Drew subbing out his starters for the last five minutes, OU finally got its offense untracked, but sophomore walk-on forward Jonathan Davis capped the scoring with a driving shot off the glass.
Lecomte was a sizzling 4-of-5 from outside the arc and finished with 14 points, while Lual-Acuil had 12 points and eight boards, helping Baylor finish with a 46-30 rebounding edge. But, the nation's leading shot blocker did not have a blocked shot for the first time in 13 games.
"My teammates did a great job finding me . . . always, always," Lecomte said. "I've just got to keep shooting it."
Kruger said the Sooners have to "raise the bar" if they want to compete in the Big 12. They have to travel to Fort Worth on Tuesday to face a resurgent TCU team (11-2, 0-1) that came close to knocking off third-ranked Kansas, falling 86-80 at home.
"We've got to expect more and do more," he said. "But, credit Baylor for causing us to be worse than what we were."
Baylor returns home to face Iowa State (9-3, 1-0) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ferrell Center. The Cyclones overcame a 14-point, second-half deficit to defeat Texas Tech, 63-56, behind a 19-point outing from Naz Mitrou-Long.