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January 26, 2008

Griffin returns, Sooners beat No. 25 Baylor

Box score

WACO, Texas Baylor's first national ranking in 39 years may be short-lived because the 25th-ranked Bears still can't beat Oklahoma.

Freshman standout Blake Griffin made an unexpected return from a sprained left knee and had 17 points and 15 rebounds as Oklahoma beat Baylor 77-71 on Saturday, its 27th straight victory over the Bears since 1977.

Baylor (16-3, 4-1 Big 12), coming off a five-overtime thriller over Texas A&M in their first game as a ranked team since 1969, overcame a 16-point second-half deficit against Oklahoma. The Bears went ahead 71-70 with about 2 minutes left when Henry Dugat rebounded a missed 3-pointer and drove the length of the court for a layup.

The Bears didn't score again.

Griffin quickly answered for the Sooners (14-5, 2-2) with a strong inside basket. Then after a Baylor miss, Griffin drove the baseline to make it 74-71.

After getting hurt early at No. 2 Kansas on Jan. 14, Griffin was supposed to be out up to four weeks. But he missed only one game and was playing 13 days later.

Griffin didn't start, but entered against Baylor 5 1/2 minutes in and had almost an immediate impact. He had a rebound, an assist and a basket in a 10-0 run that put Oklahoma ahead to stay, except for that 10-second span late in the game.

Before Tony Crocker capped the scoring with two free throws with 15 seconds left, Griffin had scored nine straight points for the Sooners.

Austin Johnson had 15 points for Oklahoma, while Longar Longar had 13, Crocker 11 and David Godbold 10.

Curtis Jerrells led Baylor with 17 points while Kevin Rogers had 13 points and 16 rebounds.

For more coverage of Oklahoma, visit SoonerScoop.com; for more on Baylor, visit SicEmSports.com.



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