OKLAHOMA CITY — Notre Dame star Jewell Loyd struggled with her shot for the second straight game. Lindsay Allen was there again to help the Fighting Irish advance.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Baylor was in complete control, and then it fell apart in the final three minutes. It was quite the surprise for coach Scott Drew.
DALLAS — Nina Davis, Niya Johnson and No. 5 Baylor never tire of the confetti celebrations, the championship caps and cutting the nets down.
DALLAS — Nina Davis made another strong move to the basket, converting the layup while being fouled. The Big 12 player of the year made the free throw and then went to the bench for good.
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Baylor coach Scott Drew had been sick lately, and he could barely croak out a couple sentences by the time he settled behind the table Saturday for his postgame news conference.
WACO — Rico Gathers and No. 16 Baylor were starting to feel as though they had things headed in the right direction.
AUSTIN — Nina Davis' shooting put third-ranked Baylor in position to beat Texas on Sunday. Her defense sealed the victory.
WACO — Nina Davis and Niya Johnson were right in the middle of the decisive run for No. 3 Baylor.
WACO — Scott Drew had a simple answer for why his Baylor Bears were able to rout Texas. They shared the basketball.
WACO — Royce O’Neale caught the pass off balance, and in one motion got the ball to Rico Gathers for a rim-rocking end to No. 21 Baylor’s game-clinching run.
The dunk by Gathers punctuated a late 10-0 spurt that finally put Baylor ahead to stay in a 69-58 victory over No. 19 Oklahoma on Saturday night.
“I found Rico trailing. I knew he was going to catch it and dunk it,” O’Neale said. “I had to get an assist for it.”
Kenny Chery had a 3-pointer to start the run and tie the game at 49 with 6:45 left. The point guard also had the long rebound off a missed 3-pointer by Oklahoma, igniting the highlight play for the Bears (15-4, 3-3 Big 12) when he passed ahead to O’Neale to set up the dunk that made it 56-49.
“Every game, we usually have one or two highlight plays, but the coaches always prefer the ones where we have multiple people involved,” coach Scott Drew said. “So the fact that we had some great pitch aheads and really unselfish play ... some of the guys could have gone in, but they made the extra pass to the person to make it easier. That’s what good teammates do.”
Lester Medford had 17 points, including a 3-pointer during the 10-0 before consecutive assists on dunks by Gathers and Taurean Prince in a 15-second span in the final 1:20 of the game. Baylor’s last field goal came when Prince passed up a breakaway of his own and passed to Gathers for another slam.
“At the critical time there of the second half I thought Baylor was a little quicker to boards,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “Made plays, made shots there in the key stretch when the game was even to create a little bit of a margin.”
Chery finished with 13 points, while Prince had 12 and O’Neale 10. Gathers had eight points and eight rebounds, 20 fewer than his Big 12 record in Baylor’s previous game.
Buddy Hield and Jordan Woodard had 12 points each for the Sooners (12-7, 3-4), who three weeks earlier beat Baylor by 10 at home. Ryan Spangler and Tashawn Thomas each had 10 points.
Oklahoma played its national-high ninth Top 25 opponent already this season, and the sixth ranked opponent in Big 12 play which began with that Jan. 3 game against the Bears.
The Sooners went ahead for the first time with a 7-0 to start the second half. Hield turned a steal into a breakaway two-handed slam before Isaiah Cousins hit a 3-pointer and Thomas a jumper for a 31039 lead. They later scored nine consecutive points, with Thomas’ two free throws breaking a 40-all tie before his inside basket.
The Bears looked like they were in for another close finish. Their previous four Big 12 games had been decided by two points or less — except for a seven-point overtime victory at TCU.
“It helped out a lot because we kept our poise,” Medford said. “We battled it out and ended up with good results.”
BEAT THE CLOCK
Baylor had the ball back after Booker’s 3-pointer ended a 4½-minute Oklahoma scoring drought to end the Bears’ run of 10 consecutive points. With the shot clock running down, Medford gave the ball up to O’Neale, who made a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer. “I was just trusting in him that he could get that shot off and make it,” Medford said. That was the first of three assists by Medford in a span of 1:45.
Oklahoma had its fewest points at halftime this season, down 30-24. The Sooners scored 23 points in the second half of consecutive games in the Bahamas at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament Thanksgiving weekend.
Baylor recognized Jerry Mallett, who was in attendance three days after his single-game record of 27 rebounds was broken by Gathers. Mallett set his record on Feb. 1, 1955, making the nearly 60-year-old record the team’s longest-standing record until Gathers’ 28-rebound game against NAIA school Huston-Tillotson.
Oklahoma is home Wednesday night against Texas Tech.
Baylor plays Tuesday night at Oklahoma State.
WACO — Baylor coach Kim Mulkey knows there are plenty of people surprised at how her team is playing.
NORMAN, Okla. — Johnathan Motley did all he could to try and help Baylor upset Oklahoma. It just wasn't enough.
WACO — While Baylor was honoring its first national championship team, coach Kim Mulkey just wanted to get into the locker room to fix her current team's problems.
ARLINGTON — Connor Cook and the Michigan State Spartans want to have a different role in the playoff talk next season.
WACO — Playing for the first time in nine days, Baylor was a little rusty Monday night — even if the final score hardly showed it.
WACO — After Baylor's starters missed their first four shots, coach Kim Mulkey pulled all five players out of the game. The next five proceeded to miss a pair of layups, and they, too, got sent to the bench after less than a minute of playing time.
FORT WORTH — Now the Big 12 Conference has a real debate to settle after both of its co-champions were left out of the four-team playoff.
WACO — No. 5 Baylor did what it had to do to keep alive its chance for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Bryce Petty and company grabbed a share of a second consecutive Big 12 title.
ARLINGTON — Bryce Petty and fifth-ranked Baylor are going home after a close call. The Bears are on the verge of another Big 12 title and still in contention for a spot in the new four-team playoff.
WACO — Khadijiah Cave was 9 of 10 from the field with 20 points and 11 rebounds on Sunday, and No. 13 Baylor cruised to a 90-60 victory over Marist.
ARLINGTON — Everything was kind of blurry when Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty first opened his eyes.
ARLINGTON — Baylor coach Art Briles has always preferred repeating over defending when talking about the Big 12 title.
No playing in the rain for No. 5 Baylor this week.
WACO — Playoff-contending Baylor had a quick start Saturday followed by its longest drive of the season, and now has made a significant forward push.
WACO — Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty has tried to avoid calling Oklahoma State a revenge game for the No. 6 Bears.
NORMAN, Okla. — It took awhile, but eventually Baylor receiver Corey Coleman bought into what quarterback Bryce Petty was telling him.
Baylor's quarterback answered question after question after last week's win over Kansas by reiterating that he was ready for Oklahoma. He backed up his swagger by completing 32 of 42 passes for 387 yards and a touchdown to help the 10th-ranked Bears roll past the 16th-ranked Sooners 48-14 on Saturday.
NORMAN, Okla. — Ex-Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer often boasted that his Sooners would “hang half a hundred” on opponents.
NORMAN, Okla. — In case you haven't heard, Bryce Petty is “ready for OU.”
Baylor coach Art Briles admits he was a bit surprised by how quarterback Bryce Petty answered questions after the No. 10 Bears' bounce-back victory.
WACO — From the top rows here at McLane Stadium, Baylor’s first-year crown jewel, you can see the sun glistening off the Brazos River, where the locals arrive via boat and tailgate just off the waterfront. From that very same spot on Saturday afternoon, you could also enjoy an unblocked view of the north end zone, which provided a perfect angle of Kansas’ most mystifying moment in a 60-14 loss to Baylor.
WACO — Bryce Petty and No. 12 Baylor had to sit on that loss an extra week.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Bryce Petty got knocked around and struggled to find his targets, Baylor piled up the penalties and the Bears' undefeated season came to a grinding halt.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Picking a standout wide receiver in the Baylor-West Virginia matchup is like putting a basket of candy in front of trick-or-treaters and telling them to choose one. Only one.
WACO — Good defense can be hard to find in the Big 12, where potent spread offenses dominate.
WACO — Bryce Petty had done all he could do, bringing Baylor back from 21 points down in the fourth quarter and McLane Stadium back to life.
The biggest game in Texas this weekend is nowhere near a Ferris wheel — though there are plenty of places in Waco to stuff yourself with sloppy fried foods if that's what you want.
WACO — Baylor coach Art Briles smiled when someone started to ask about quarterback Bryce Petty's subpar game.
AUSTIN — The Baylor-Texas rivalry has turned. So far, in fact, it's more like it's been flipped on its head.
AMES, Iowa — Baylor's expectations have gotten so high that a 21-point road win in the Big 12 was greeted with a collective shrug.
Baylor easily got through its nonconference schedule with three lopsided victories in 13 days before taking a break.
Kliff Kingsbury makes sure his Texas Tech players know that their entire season is still ahead of them.
AMHERST, N.Y. — Bryce Petty's back feels fine, and the Baylor Bears can breathe easy.
WACO — No matter how much Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty wants to be on the field, the reigning Big 12 offensive player of the year could be watching from the sideline with his top receivers Saturday night.
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty was in pain every time he threw a pass while playing only the first half of the season opener. Top receiver Antwan Goodley was bothered early by a thigh issue and failed to catch a pass for the first time in 18 games.
WACO — RG3 in bronze and boats on the water at Baylor.
WACO — Bryce Petty took a bruising shot to his lower back on No. 10 Baylor's first offensive drive in its new riverfront stadium.
WACO — Baylor football is back on campus for the first time in nearly eight decades.
WACO — The shiny new stadium on the edge of the Baylor campus along the Brazos River is ready for its big debut.
Baylor coach Art Briles quickly dismisses the idea of his Bears defending their Big 12 championship.