Cousins leads No. 21 Oklahoma past Baylor, 88-72

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 8, 2014 at 9:38 pm •  Published: February 8, 2014
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Oklahoma shot 64 percent from the field to take a 43-35 halftime lead. Hield scored 17 points in the first half for the Sooners, who shot 11 for 18 from 3-point range and had 12 assists to just four turnovers before the break. Oklahoma's largest lead in the half was 12 points.

"When they're 11 for 18 from 3, you're feeling decent that you're still in the game," Baylor coach Scott Drew said.

Austin, a 7-foot-1 center, went 3 of 4 on 3-pointers and matched his season high with 16 points in the first half. He committed his second foul with 6:02 left in the half, but remained in the game and didn't commit any more before the break.

Hield made five of six 3-pointers in the first half and drew extra attention in the second.

"Everybody was focused in on Buddy, so that kind of gave me an advantage," Cousins said.

Hield said he was fine with deferring to Cousins.

"They started denying me the ball a little bit," he said. "Coach Kruger did a great job getting shots for other guys. He found ways to get Isaiah going and found a mismatch."

The Sooners still struggled to pull away. Baylor's Rico Gathers converted a three-point play to cut Oklahoma's lead to 54-49, but the Sooners bounced right back. A 3-pointer by Tyler Neal pushed Oklahoma's advantage to 10, and the Sooners extended their lead to 14 before the Bears called a timeout with 10:48 left.

Baylor cut Oklahoma's lead to nine before Jordan Woodard converted a three-point play with 4:58 remaining to help the Sooners regain control.

"OU really shot the ball well," Drew said. "We didn't defend very well. When we did defend better, they were on a roll and made some contested shots."

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP