Andrew Fitzgerald a key to OU upset bid

BY JAKE TROTTER, Staff Writer, jtrotter@opubco.com Modified: March 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm •  Published: February 27, 2010

NORMAN — Three weeks after encountering his low, Andrew Fitzgerald has climbed to his season’s high.

Over the last two games, Oklahoma’s freshman power forward from Baltimore has made rapid improvement and given the Sooners some punch on the post.

"I’ve been in a zone,” he said. "An opportunity was called.

"Yeah, I really have” turned a corner.

Today, to have a chance of upsetting No. 24 Baylor — which defeated OU by 31 points earlier this year and features an imposing frontline of 6-foot-10 Ekpe Udoh, 6-10 Anthony Jones and 7-footer Josh Lomers — the Sooners need the 6-8 Fitzgerald to continue his progressing play.

Last weekend in a loss to sixth-ranked Kansas State, Fitzgerald started in place of Willie Warren, out with a sprained ankle.

Fitzgerald made the most of the nod.

In 27 minutes, he tied a career high with 14 points and five rebounds and was a major reason why the Sooners stayed with the Wildcats until late in the second half.

Two days later, Fitzgerald followed that up with his best performance of the season against the No. 1 team in the country.

Facing Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse, Fitzgerald started again and finished with 16 points and six rebounds in 37 minutes, all career highs, while squaring off often against All-Big 12 center Cole Aldrich.

"I think it’s the culmination of a lot of work that he’s put in,” said OU coach Jeff Capel. "Since our season started, he’s been doing a lot of stuff with our strength coach, especially since Christmas.


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