Comeback Kids: Late rally pushes OU past Baylor

Johnnie Gilbert (pictured left) and the Sooners overcame a 10 point second half deficit to beat Baylor, 46-41, Saturday in Norman. With the win the Sooners improved to 8-8 in Big 12 play and 18-9 overall. The Sooners will be the No. 7 seed and face Nebraska in the first round of next week's Big 12 Touranment in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jerry Laizure)

NORMAN, Okla. — Jason Detrick's last shot at the Lloyd Noble Center will go down as a memorable one.

Detrick, a senior from Newport News, Va. playing in his final home game, only scored five points, but none were more important than his 3-pointer with 2:45 to go in the Sooners' 46-41 win over Baylor Saturday in Norman.

"There was not a set play for me to shoot the ball. I just had the open look and I wanted to shoot," said Detrick. "Drew Lavender made a great pass and I was able to get the open look and I knocked it down."

Detrick's three not only gave the Sooners their first lead since the opening minute of the second half — it helped the Sooners overcome a 10 point deficit after leading 20-18 at halftime.

Baylor used an 8-0 run to start the second half and would later push the lead to 32-22 with a Terrance Thomas basket with 13:09 to go, but the Sooners wouldn't stay down for long

Lawrence McKenzie's 3-pointer with 12:54 to go ignited a 9-0 run that would bring the Sooners within one point with 9:10 to go. Oklahoma would later tie the game at 33-33 and 37-37, but it was Detrick's three that put the Sooners up for good at 40-39.

The Sooners stopped Baylor on their next possession, and then Johnnie Gilbert hit two free throws two stretch the lead to 42-39 with 2:01 to go. Thomas would respond with another jump shot to cut OU's lead to 42-41 with 44 seconds o go, but the Bears fouled McKenzie on OU's next possession and the freshman from Minnesota hit both free throws to seal the win with 23 seconds left to seal the win.

"In the first half we didn't play up to our potential, but in the second half we came ready to play," said junior forward Johnnie Gilbert, who finished with seven points and five rebounds. "Our emphasis on the second half was hitting the boards harder and we did. We shot a really poor percentage from the field and were still able to come away with a win, which helps with our confidence."

The Sooners shot just just 29.6 percent (16-for-54) from the field, but outrebounded the Bears 36-24 and forced 18 turnovers. Freshman guard Drew Lavender led the Sooners with 10 points.

"This is a major confidence booster going into Dallas," Gilbert continued. "We will just feed off this win and it will carry us into Dallas. We just need to work hard every day in practice and give ourselves a chance to win. The key is to keep a good mindset and practice hard."

Detrick, who was honored during senior day festivities after the game, finished with five points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in his final game at the Lloyd Noble Center.

"The one thing that describes my whole time here at OU is I just had fun," said Detrick. "That was the one thing I cared about most. I will always remember having fun and hanging out with my teammates and coaches. They made my whole experience fun and exciting."

Senior center Jabahri Brown, who has been suspended for the remainder of the season after being charged with a misdemeanor possession of marijuana last week, was also honored along with Detrick after the game.

Brown apologized to the fans, his teammates and the University of Oklahoma Administration for his mistakes during his speech, and even teared up and brought Sampson to tears when he personally apologized and thanked him for being a 'father figure' during his career in Norman.

With the win and Iowa State's loss at Texas Tech the Sooners will be the No. 7 seed in next week's Big 12 Tournament and face Nebraska in the first round on Thursday.

"We've had our share of injuries, distractions and freshmen to teach, but we're 18-9 not 9-18," said OU Head Coach Kelvin Sampson. "We've come a long way and we've had some tough losses. I look back on Texas, Colorado and Missouri and we could have easily won those games. Now we have the tournament coming up and we will do our best."

"OU usually does well in the Big 12 Tournament," said Sampson, whose Sooners have won the last three Big 12 Conference Tournaments. "Nebraska will be a tough game. They can be really good, but we will come to win. It should be a good game."

Tip-off for Thursday's first round matchup with Nebraska is set for 6 p.m. at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

OU-Baylor Box Score

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