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Texas first of five straight tough games for OU


NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma's rout of Baylor figures to be the Sooners' last easy game for a while.

Their game Monday night at No. 3 Texas is the first in a rugged stretch that includes a road game against Texas Tech, home games against Oklahoma State and Kansas and a visit to Missouri.

First things first, coach Kelvin Sampson says.

``We're not going into five games,'' Sampson said Saturday after the 91-42 victory over Baylor. ``We're going into Texas on Monday. You guys are getting too carried away with our schedule. We've got Texas on Monday. That's the only thing that matters to us.''

The seventh-ranked Sooners (16-3, 7-1 Big 12) are tied with Oklahoma State for the Big 12 lead, with Texas (15-4, 6-2) right behind. The Longhorns are coming off a 95-87 victory Saturday night at Texas A&M.

Oklahoma's dismantling of Baylor, the Sooners' sixth straight victory, came after a one-week layoff. Sampson gave his players a rare two days off to start the week, then spent the rest of the week ``focusing on who we are, which is defense and rebounding.''

The result was Oklahoma's most lopsided victory since December 2001 and the worst loss for Baylor since 1983. The Bears shot just 32.7 percent, committed 18 turnovers and were outrebounded 34-27.

Even so, Sampson cautioned not to read too much into the outcome.

``Don't look at this game and say, 'They're ready to play Texas.' It means nothing,'' he said. ``We were hot today.''

The Sooners shot 58 percent and made 13 shots from 3-point range _ both season highs. They had five players score in double figures and, most pleasing to Sampson, had assists on 26 of their 36 baskets.

Oklahoma led 23-5 nine minutes into the game, had a 29-point lead at halftime and led by as many as 53 in the second half.

``Our concentration was real good for 40 minutes,'' said guard Hollis Price, who had 17 points and six assists. ``That's all coach has been looking for the past 18 games. Tonight we brought it out. I'm sure he's going to be looking for the same thing Monday.''

The Sooners have won eight in a row against Texas. Last year in Austin, they led by 17 in the second half before winning 85-84 in overtime. Sampson said that result means nothing now.

``Kevin Bookout has never been to Austin, unless it's for a track meet,'' Sampson said, referring to his freshman forward. ``The team that beat 'em last year, if I had that team, I'd feel pretty good.''

He said Oklahoma has its work cut out against the Longhorns, who have the deepest team in the Big 12 and one of the nation's premier players in point guard T.J. Ford.

``Obviously we've been playing good,'' Sampson said. ``We're at the halfway point of the league schedule and we've played four road games and won three. I don't know if you could ask anything more than to be 7-1 at this point.''
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