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Oklahoma basketball: Sam Grooms scores 23 points as OU beats Baylor

Sam Grooms scored a career-high 23 points, Steven Pledger had 17 of his 19 points in the first half as Oklahoma built a big lead and the Sooners held off Baylor's comeback attempt for a 90-76 victory on Saturday.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM Published: February 23, 2013

/articleid/3758607/1/pictures/1961913">Photo - Oklahoma Sooner's Sam Grooms (1) knocks the ball from the grasp of Baylor Bear's Isaiah Austin (21) as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) men play the Baylor University Bears (BU) in NCAA, college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013  in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma Sooner's Sam Grooms (1) knocks the ball from the grasp of Baylor Bear's Isaiah Austin (21) as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) men play the Baylor University Bears (BU) in NCAA, college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Pierre Jackson scored a game-high 28 points for Baylor (16-11, 7-7).

Grooms finished with three turnovers, two steals, four assists, two boards in addition to his team-high in points. Grooms also drained both 3-pointers he shot.

“If Sam was doing this 25 games ago, he'd have been starting for 25 games,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said.

Yet while one point guard has had his confidence boosted, Oklahoma's former starting freshman point guard Isaiah Cousins has had his confidence shaken.

Cousins played just nine minutes and committed three turnovers.

“We're going to work at it,” Grooms said about rebuilding Cousins' confidence. “We all still believe in him. ... We're going to pick him up as much as we can.

“I've been there before. ... We need him, pretty point blank.”

But the Sooners look like they need Grooms' offensive production and defensive aggressiveness too. In OU's last three games, Grooms has scored 53 points. The senior said his confidence starts with an ability to adjust.

“Every single day, Roe (Osby) tells me if I don't shoot the shots that I shoot in practice in the game, how are people actually going to respect me?” Grooms said.

“Tell them what else I tell you,” Osby chimed in.

Grooms just shook his head and smiled.

“Let it fly,” Osby said of his advice. “If you miss it, you miss it. If you make it, you make it. He works on his game too much to not make shots in the game.”


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