Saturday’s Top 25: Hield’s strong finish lifts Sooners
Waco, Texas — Buddy Hield became a cheerleader while sitting on the Oklahoma bench with two fouls in the first half. The dynamic guard got back to scoring after halftime when the Sooners made a case to stay No. 1.
The Sooners started their first week atop the AP poll since 1990 with a close loss at No. 19 Iowa State on Monday night.
They ended it Saturday with the Big 12 scoring leader getting 14 of his 19 points after halftime in an 82-72 victory at No. 13 Baylor, snapping the Bears’ 15-game home winning streak and matching them for the conference lead in a game that wasn’t really that close.
Oklahoma (16-2, 5-2) matched a season high with 16 3-pointers, had 29 assists on 31 field goals and never trailed after a half-ending run when Jordan Woodard scored 15 points of his 20 points with Hield sitting on the bench the last 9 minutes.
“Jordan was really carrying the whole team making shots,” Hield said. “I was celebrating more than anybody on the bench, happy to see him make a lot of shots during that stretch.”
Baylor (15-4, 5-2) opened the second half with an 11-4 run, tying it at 41-all with 17:39 left on Ish Wainright’s 3-pointer. Hield made consecutive 3s in a 26-second span before Isaiah Cousins hit another 3 less than a minute later.
That was part of a 41-17 run over a 12-minute span that put Oklahoma up 82-58 before the Bears scored the game’s last 14 points against Sooners reserves to make the game look closer than it actually was.
“OU was outstanding and I thought we were average, at best,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew, his voice very raspy. “Disappointed we didn’t have a better showing for an opportunity like this.”
The Bears are 0-7 all-time against No. 1 teams.
Isaiah Cousins had 13 points and nine assists for the Sooners, while Ryan Spangler had 11 points. Hield had eight assists and all of Woodard’s points came in the first half.
“After Iowa State we felt like we needed to put more pressure on opposing teams. We came out ready to play D,” Cousins said. “Everybody’s on the same page, everybody’s ready to knock down shots when we’re locked in, and trying to make the right play.”
Johnathan Motley and Taurean Prince each had 15 points for Baylor, while freshman King McClure had 11 and Al Freeman 10. Rico Gathers had 11 rebounds, but only two points, while Motley added 10 rebounds.
(At) No. 3 Kansas 76, Texas 67: Perry Ellis had 26 points, Wayne Selden Jr. added 19 and Kansas won its 34th straight home game.
The Jayhawks (16-3, 4-3 Big 12) had played poorly in a two-week stretch since beating No. 1 Oklahoma. Along with losses to West Virginia and Oklahoma State, they struggled to beat TCU.
Connor Lammert had a career-high 15 points before fouling out for Texas (12-7, 4-3).
(At) No. 5 Xavier 84, Seton Hall 76: James Farr scored a career-high 24 points as part of his fourth double-double of the season for Xavier.
Farr had 15 rebounds, three blocks, two steals and a career-high four assists to lead the Musketeers (17-2, 5-2 Big East).
Desi Rodriguez scored a career-high 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting for Seton Hall (13-6, 3-4).
No. 6 West Virginia 80, (at) Texas Tech 76: Tarik Phillip scored the final eight points in a closing surge for West Virginia.
The Mountaineers (16-3, 5-2 Big 12) ended the game on a 10-2 run. Phillip finished with 20 points and Jaysean Paige had 22.
Zach Smith scored a career-high 18 for Texas Tech (12-6, 2-5).
(At) No. 10 Texas A&M 66, Missouri 53: Jalen Jones scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half to lead Texas A&M to its 10th win in a row.
The Aggies (17-2, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) have their longest victory string since a 13-game run ended in January 2011.
Missouri (8-11, 1-5) lost its fourth straight.
(At) California 74, No. 12 Arizona 73: Gabe York dribbled off his foot, then drove to the basket and missed a contested shot in the waning seconds, and California held on behind Jordan Mathews. Mathews converted an off-balance layin under pressure with 1:13 to play and finished with a season-best 28 points. Cal stayed unbeaten at home in Haas Pavilion, where students from the sellout crowd of 11,858 rushed the court after the final buzzer.
York’s 3-pointer with 54.6 seconds left pulled Arizona within two, then Kadeem Allen’s layup the next time down tied it at 73 with 39.3 seconds to play.
Jaylen Brown made the second of two free throws with 18.4 seconds left for Cal to give Arizona one last chance to win it. But the Wildcats failed to earn Sean Miller his 300th career victory in his first try.
(At) No. 15 Miami (Fla.) 77, Wake Forest 63: Reserve Ja’Quan Newton scored 18 points and Miami overcame poor shooting in the paint.
The Hurricanes (15-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) missed 11 layups and two dunks.
Wake Forest (10-9, 1-6) lost its fourth straight.
No. 17 Louisville 75, (at) Georgia Tech 71: Damion Lee scored 17 points, Anas Mahmoud added 15 and Louisville held on.
The Cardinals (16-3, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won three in a row.
Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 23 for Georgia Tech (11-8, 1-5), which has lost its five ACC games by a total of 26 points.
Creighton 72, (at) No. 18 Butler 64: Maurice Watson scored 20 points, and Isaiah Zierden had 13 for Creighton.
The Bluejays (14-6, 5-2 Big East) capitalized on the Bulldogs’ cold shooting and foul trouble for their first win in 12 games against Top 25 opponents.
Reserve Kelan Martin scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half for the Bulldogs (13-6, 2-5), who dropped to 1-3 in conference road games. Kellen Dunham had 20 points.
No. 19 Iowa State 73, (at) TCU 60: Monte Morris (Flint Beecher) had 18 points and six assists to lead Iowa State.
The Cyclones (15-4, 4-3 Big 12) started slowly five days after knocking off No. 1 Oklahoma. Morris’ steal and layup key an 11-0 run late in the first half.
Chauncey Collins scored 14 points for TCU (9-10, 1-6).
No. 20 Duke 88, (at) N.C. State 78: Grayson Allen scored 28 points and Duke took control with a second-half flurry to end a three-game losing streak.
Freshman Brandon Ingram added 25 points for the Blue Devils (15-5, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). The reigning national champions stopped their longest skid since the 2006-07 season.
Anthony “Cat” Barber scored 19 points for North Carolina State (11-9, 1-6).
(At) No. 23 Kentucky 76, Vanderbilt 57: Tyler Ulis scored 21 points, Jamal Murray added 18 and Kentucky shot 55 percent from the field.
Ulis made 9 of 13 to lead the Wildcats (15-4, 5-2 Southeastern Conference).
Vanderbilt (11-8, 3-4) had won three in a row.
(At) Tennessee 78, No. 24 South Carolina 69: Kevin Punter Jr. scored a career-high 36 points to boost Tennessee.
The Volunteers (10-9, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) made their first seven 3-point shots in the second half, with Punter connecting on four.
South Carolina (17-2, 4-2) has lost 16 of the last 17 in the series.