Tahlequah Daily Press

College Sports

December 31, 2013

ORU blown out by Baylor

WACO, Texas — Scott Sutton hasn’t been in too many games like this in his 15 seasons coaching at Oral Roberts.

The Golden Eagles never really had a chance, even after jumping out to an early lead, in an 81-55 loss Monday night at No. 9 Baylor.

“I told my team that I’ve been coaching 15 years, especially the last 12 or 13 years, there have been very few games where we’ve been run out of the gym,” Sutton said. “Tonight, that’s what happened. Baylor’s a very good team. I thought they played well tonight and our guys didn’t. We just did a terrible job.”

For Oral Roberts (6-7), which last lost four of five games, it was the most lopsided loss in four years — since losing 94-57 to Louisville on Dec. 14, 2009.

Taurean Prince came off the bench and scored 10 of his 16 points in the go-ahead run for Baylor (11-1), which had trailed 7-0 while missing its first six shots in nearly 6 minutes.

“We just knew we had to get it going. You get down too much, it’s hard to come back against any team,” Prince said. “We just stayed strong defensively, sticking to our principles.”

The Bears, playing for the first time in eight days, finally scored when Kenny Chery hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 14:13 left in the first half.

“After the Christmas break, you’re always a little nervous about getting about getting back into a routine. The first 5 minutes of the game validated why we’re nervous,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “We couldn’t throw it in the ocean. We weren’t really moving, weren’t active. Then we played 35 minutes of very good basketball.”

Shawn Glover had 22 points to lead Oral Roberts, which plays its Southland Conference opener at home Thursday night against Houston Baptist. Denell Henderson had 16 points.

Cory Jefferson had 17 points for Baylor after not scoring in the first half. Isaiah Austin had 15 points while Rico Gathers had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bears have won 11 in a row at home, and 16 of 17 games overall in a stretch when their only loss is to second-ranked Syracuse in Hawaii last month. They are 35-5 in December games since 2007-08.

“We’ve played three top-10 teams, and I think they’re the most gifted team we’ve played as far as athleticism and size,” Sutton said.

Oral Roberts led 7-0 after Henderson’s three-point play just less than 4 minutes into the game.

Jefferson had two fouls in his 5 minutes before halftime, when he didn’t take a shot or get a rebound. He finally scored only a putback dunk with 17:33 left, and added another less than a minute later with a highlight windmill on an assist from Gary Franklin.

“I wanted to make a statement in the second half and just come out and just go after everything,” Jefferson said. ‘

The Golden Eagles also had some foul problems. Korey Billbury picked up three fouls with 8? minutes left in the first half, and 7-footer Jorden Kaufman had three fouls just 3 minutes after that.

During the early Prince-led run, Glover had the only basket for the Golden Eagles. He also ended that spurt with his dunk with just less 6 minutes left, though Baylor led 36-25 at halftime.

“They’re so long and athletic, it’s hard to get good, clean looks at the basket. I thought we hung around for a while, but in the second half, they ran us out of the gym,” Sutton said. “That’s what’s disappointing. I don’t think our guys competed, especially on the defensive end like we should have.”

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