Early Exit

After finding out just a few hours before the game they would be without star freshman Perry Jones, who was suspended by the NCAA earlier in the day, the Baylor Bears (18-13) had a chance to prove they still belonged in the Big 12 Tournament. However, the Oklahoma Sooners (14-17) had something else in mind, completely demolishing the Bears 84-67 to send them home from Kansas City early.

In the early stages of the game, it appeared the Baylor was going to be alright without their freshman standout. After an Andrew Fitzgerald jumper to start the game, J'mison Morgan got the Bears on the board. Lacedarius Dunn scored 2 of his only 3 first half points on the next possession. The two teams traded blows the over the next few minutes, with the Bears pulling ahead 13-9 after an Anthony Jones three-pointer. However, the Sooners weren't about to go away quietly.

Much like the matchup between Baylor and Oklahoma in Norman back in February, the Sooners went on a run that the Bears had no answer for. Over the next 9 minutes, the Sooners went on a 28-5 run led by senior Cade Davis, who finished the game with 24 points. The Bears missed shots, turned the ball over, and simply couldn't get anything going and fell behind 37-18. Just as time was about to run out in the first half, Anthony Jones connected on a three-pointer as the buzzer went off to send the Bears into halftime with a little bit of momentum. However, the officials overturned the call and the Bears went into the break trailing 39-22.

The Sooners never let up in the second half. In the opening minutes of the half, A.J. Walton hit back to back three pointers, but it didn't matter. Cade Davis couldn't be contained and scored 8 points within that 2:28 timespan. Try as they might to cut into the lead, the Sooners always had an answer for the Baylor attack, extending the lead to as many as 25 in the second half.

Quincy Acy stepped up in place of the suspended Perry Jones, finishing the game with 21 points and 15 boards. However, the Bears needed much more than that tonight. Anthony Jones finished with 13 and LaceDarius Dunn added 11. Baylor's real problems came defensively, however, allowing the Sooners to shoot 58% for the game, including 9/18 from beyond the arc (compared to Baylor's 4/19). Needless to say, the Bears were simply outplayed in every facet of the game.

The Bears will now head back to Waco and wait to hear about an NIT bid. Baylor is also planning on appealing Perry Jones' suspension tomorrow in hopes of getting Jones back in time for a run in the NIT. Baylor Athletic Director Ian McCaw is optimistic, saying that the NCAA's ruling "appears to be inconsistent with other recent, widely discussed NCAA decisions". In an interview with ESPN's Holly Rowe, McCaw referenced the recent rulings regarding Ohio State and Auburn. Stay tuned to the Bears Den Premium Forums for all of the latest news regarding Perry Jones and the Baylor Bears.

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