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OU Extends Winning Streak Against Baylor

The Oklahoma Sooners continued its win streak after defeating the Baylor Bears on Wednesday, 84-73. Let’s talk about it.

Throughout the first quarter of the game, it was back and forth. The first half ended with Nevaeh Tot displaying her experience and deciding to go for the last shot of the half, and it turned out to be the right decision. Payton Verhulst had a nice scoop layup to send the Sooners into the tunnel with a six-point lead.

It was a great defensive game for the Sooners, specifically on the glass and in the blocks department. OU won the rebounding battle 45-37, with a lot of different players contributing on the boards. The Sooners also had nine blocks on the night. The Baylor Bears came into the game scoring an average of 77.2 points per game, and OU held them to just 36.8% from the field. The Sooners did a good job of defending the paint in this game. Baylor struggled to get into driving lanes and convert on the chances they had near the rim. OU was in the passing lanes all night and totaled seven steals and scored 22 points of the Bears’ turnovers. In the last three games, the Sooners have brought defensive intensity.

The Sooners struggled to guard Sarah Andrews, allowing her to score 14 points, and dish out four assists. She was making plays for the Bears all night.

The Sooners had five players score over 10 points in the game against Baylor. Kiersten Johnson had a career night on the offensive side of the ball. She scored 20 points on 8-12 from the field. She was hitting contested shots at a very efficient rate. She also had five rebounds, four assists, and three blocks. She was all over the place, and provided a huge spark off the bench for head coach Jennie Baranczyk. If she can keep playing this well, the Sooners are going to be very successful.

Speaking of a player being all over the place on the floor, Payton Verhulst also had a phenomenal game against the Bears. She scored 16 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, and five blocks. When a guard can go out and grab 11 boards and block five people, that can be the difference in the game. Verhulst was locked in on the defensive side all night for the Sooners. One of the best plays from the night was after Verhulst got a block down low, she saved the ball from going out of bounds and ignited a Sooners transition opportunity. Verhulst has been playing like a star.

Nevaeh Tot and Skylar Vann both continued their good offensive performances from the previous game, with Tot dropping 14 points, and Vann throwing in 10 points. Tot being able to score more points in the last couple of games has made a big difference for the Sooners. Teams have had to defend tighter on Tot, and that opens up the floor for the others on the court. Tot has been aggressive and looking to find her shot, and it has been fun to watch.

Kiersten Johnson wasn’t the only young Sooner to be productive against the Baylor Bears, with Sahara Williams having herself a game. She scored 14 points, and six rebounds, with three of those being on the offensive glass, one assist, and one steal. She continues to be a force down low, but can also stretch out the defense and knock down a three-pointer. The Sooners need the younger players to continue to play well, and there will be no limits on what they can do as a team.

Next up for the Sooners is another top-25 matchup with the No. 24-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown. The tip-off is scheduled for noon on Saturday. Oklahoma will look to extend its win streak to 10 games.

Images courtesy of Jenna Burress/OU Daily

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