NCAA: Oklahoma 74, (1) Baylor 84
WACO, Texas (AP) — James Akinjo matched his career high with 27 points, Adam Flagler scored 22 and top-ranked Baylor stretched its national-best winning streak to 20 games with an 84-74 win over Oklahoma on Tuesday night.
Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua added 12 points for the Bears (14-0, 2-0 Big 12), whose winning streak began with their six wins in last season’s NCAA Tournament on way to their first national championship.
Baylor and seventh-ranked Southern Cal (12-0) are the only undefeated teams remaining from major conferences.
After the Sooners (11-3, 1-1) got within 77-72 in the final minute on a fastbreak layup by Umoja Gibson, their transfer senior guard from Waco who played three seasons at North Texas, LJ Cryer had a backcourt turnover. Oklahoma called timeout before Flo Thamba blocked Gibson’s 3-pointer.
The Bears sealed the game by making seven of eight free throws in the final 40 seconds, three by Akinjo and two each by Flagler and Thamba.
Tanner Groves had 13 points to lead four players in double figures for first-year coach Porter Moser and the Sooners, who like Baylor shot 56% from the field (29 of 52). Jalen Hill and Gibson each had 12 points and Ethan Chargois 10.
Flagler had a turnover on a charging foul with about seven minutes left and Baylor up six. The teams traded missed shots before a defensive rebound by Gibson. But after two missed 3s by Oklahoma, Tchamwa Tchatchoua made a layup while being fouled. Flagler had a putback basket on the missed free throw to stretch the lead back to 10.
A 3-pointer by Flagler ignited a 19-9 Baylor run in the first half for a 45-32 lead. That was a nearly eight-minute stretch during which the Sooners had five turnovers and missed consecutive field goals — three in a row — for the only time before halftime.
The Sooners had made 13 of their first 17 shots when Groves rattled in a 3 with 5:26 left, when they still trailed 37-30.
Oklahoma: The Sooners played only their second true road game, in the building where Kansas is the only opposing team to win over the past two-plus seasons (64-61 in February 2020). In a game with not too many missed shots, Baylor outscored Oklahoma 19-0 on second-chance points. The Sooners had only three offensive rebounds, and 16 boards overall.
Baylor: The Bears have only the fourth 20-game winning streak in Big 12 history. Baylor set the conference record with a 23-game winning streak two seasons ago, while Kansas has two such streaks: 22 games in 1997-97 and a 20-game 10 years after that. ...Baylor has also won 22 consecutive home games, and 34 of 35.
Oklahoma: Another Top 25 opponent, at home against No. 11 Iowa State on Saturday.
Baylor: Travels fewer than 100 miles north on I-35 to play at TCU on Saturday.
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