The Oklahoma Sooners are running out of chances to get this season back on track. Monday night’s 59-53 loss at Baylor was OU’s fifth consecutive loss and drops the Sooners to 3-9 in Big 12 Conference play.
This loss was not nearly as embarrassing as the 77-47 loss to Baylor in Norman two weeks ago, but OU had plenty of chances to win in the final minutes and simply did not take advantage. When Kristian Doolittle hit a jumper to put OU up 51-50 with five minutes left, it appeared as though the Sooners were in a great position to pull out a win. Instead, OU went 0/3 from the free throw line (the first coming on the front end of a 1-and-1), gave up several crucial offensive rebounds and scored just two points in the final five minutes of the game. That is simply not good enough to win road games, particularly in the Big 12.
The game was closely contested for the entire 40 minutes. OU jumped out to an early 10-4 lead with a well-balanced scoring attack. The game seesawed back and forth until the teams went into the halftime locker room tied 31-31.
The Sooners trailed by as many as 11 in the second half before clawing back to take their first lead of the half with 4:59 remaining. After Baylor regained the lead, OU scored to cut it to 55-53 with 2:20 remaining. The Sooners would not score again.
OU shot just 3-16 from three and 8-15 from the free throw line in the loss. When combining that with late offensive rebounds that were allowed, it’s no wonder that this team has trouble winning close games.
Kristian Doolittle led the team with 14 points and four rebounds. Christian James tallied 11 points and eight rebounds, Brady Manek also added 11 points, and Rashard Odomes tacked on seven points and 10 rebounds.
Lon Kruger’s group looks like a team that is missing the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years, as Monday’s loss to Baylor dropped OU to 3-9 in Big 12 play and 15-10 overall. If there is not a drastic course correction soon, the Sooners will likely spend March on the couch or, worse, in the NIT.
OU’s next chance to end this losing streak will be this Saturday, Feb. 16 against TCU in Fort Worth. Tipoff is slated for 11 a.m. CT on ESPN2.