Sooners square off with Bears in Big 12 brawl

Norman, OK ( - The Baylor Bears will face their third ranked opponent in a row when they travel to Norman to take on the No. 21-ranked Oklahoma Sooners in Big 12 Conference action at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Baylor started its three-game gauntlet with a win over Oklahoma State, but lost on Tuesday to eighth-ranked Kansas, 69-52. The Bears have lost six of their last seven games altogether, and are 2-7 in conference play.

Oklahoma had a four-game win streak snapped last Saturday by Iowa State, then lost in a heated overtime battle to West Virginia, 91-86, Wednesday night. The Sooners dropped to 6-4 in Big 12 play with the two losses - two and a half games behind Kansas for the conference lead.

Oklahoma has a very firm grasp on the all-time series lead against Baylor, 40-10. That record includes a 66-64 escape-act win over the Bears back on Jan. 18 when Baylor was ranked No. 18 in the country.

Kansas took an eight-point lead into the locker rooms at the half against Baylor, and continued to pile on the lead in the second period. Cory Jefferson paced the Bears with 14 points in the loss, and Brady Heslip chipped in 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting from the field. Baylor shot a dismal 29.1 percent from the floor in the game, including 23.1 percent in the second half.

Jefferson and Heslip are the team's top two scorers this season for the Bears. Jefferson leads the team at 12.6 ppg, while Heslip adds 11.3 ppg. Jefferson tallies a team-best 8 rpg average and has 31 blocked shots, which is second to Isaiah Austin's 60. Kenny Chery tops the squad with 100 assists on the season, and is third in scoring with a 10.6 ppg average.

West Virginia went into the intermission against Oklahoma with an 11-point lead, but gave that up in the second half, allowing the Sooners to tie the game and send it to overtime. The Mountaineers outscored Oklahoma, 10-5, in the extra frame. Jordan Woodard led the Sooners with 23 points in the contest, dishing out a team-best eight assists in the loss. Tyler Neal scored 16, Buddy Hield had 15, and Ryan Spangler netted 10 points with nine rebounds.

Hield and Cameron Clark, who scored nine points in the overtime loss Wednesday, lead the Sooners in scoring average this season. Hield tops the squad at 16.9 ppg on 45.5 percent shooting from the field. Clark isn't too far off the pace at 15.8 ppg. Woodard (11.8 ppg) leads the team with 109 assists on the year, and Spangler (11.1 ppg) averages a double-double with his team- leading 10.2 rpg average.

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