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Daily Bears Report 10/28

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Lady Bears basketball ranked No. 4 in preseason Coaches Poll.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Dallas Regional-Baylor vs Oregon State
Baylor’s Nina Davis
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Cross Country

  • The Baylor men's and women's cross country teams will compete in the 21st-annual Big 12 Cross Country Championship Saturday at the Rawls Golf Course in Lubbock, Texas. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The conference meet kicks off at 10 a.m. CT with the women's 6,000-meter race. The men's 8,000-meter run will follow at 11 a.m. CT.

The top men's and women's teams will be crowned league champions, while the top 15 individuals in each race earn All-Big 12 honors.

The Baylor women are currently ranked No. 12 in the USTFCCCA's national coaches poll and are No. 2 in the South Central regional rankings. The Baylor men are fourth in the USTFCCCA's South Central regional rankings.

For the women, senior Maggie Montoya has been the top finisher for Baylor in all four of her races this fall. She took top individual honors at the Bear Twilight Invitational. In her last race, Montoya placed 11th at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational.

Including Montoya, Baylor’s top five runners have been unchanged over the past two races, while placing fifth as a team at both the Notre Dame Invitational and the Wisconsin meet. The other four top runners for BU include, Washington transfer Lindsey Bradley, senior Peyton Thomas and freshmen Anna West and Gabby Satterlee.

"The women right now have some pretty high expectations,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “This is probably our best shot since I’ve been here to go after the title. If we do our race and take care of our business, it doesn’t matter what anybody else does at this point right now. I really believe we’ve exceeded what anybody thought we could do this year, but I still think we can do better.”

The rest of Baylor's allotment of runners includes Alison Andrews-Paul, Kathryn Foreman, Hana Marsheck, Aaliyah Miller and Madie Zimmerman.

The Baylor men will have 10 athletes in action led by junior Eric Anderson, who has been the top runner for the Bears in all three races this fall. As a team, BU has not raced since Sept. 30 at the Notre Dame Invitational, using the past month exclusively for training.

"Mostly for our guys, since we’ve had such a long layoff, they’re anxious to get going," assistant head coach Jon Capron said. "They have responded to being pushed. The Big 12 is a little more open than it’s been and I’m bringing a good team to this meet.”

Behind Anderson, seniors Jordan West and Matt League, junior Matthew Parham and freshman Devin Meyrer have been Baylor’s scoring runners over the past two races, which included a team victory at the Ken Garland Invitational on Sept. 17.

BU’s other five runners making the trip, include Matt Henderson, Henry Huff, Jeff Kirwin, Sean McCullough and Sam Sahli.

Saturday's meet will feature a total of five teams ranked in the USTFCCCA top 30. The men's race, led off by No. 9 Oklahoma State and No. 13 Iowa State with Texas receiving votes. Following the Lady Bears at No. 12 on the women’s side are Iowa State at No. 15 and Oklahoma State at No. 18, while West Virginia, Texas and Kansas are all receiving votes.

Following the Big 12 meet, the Bears will travel to the NCAA South Central Regional Championships, with their top seven runners in action Nov. 11 in Fayetteville, Ark.

Lady Bears

  • The Baylor women’s basketball team is ranked fourth and received two first place votes in the USA TODAY Sports Preseason Coaches Poll, released Thursday. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Four-time defending national champion Connecticut was listed as the favorite with 18 first place votes, followed by Notre Dame (8) and South Carolina (3). The Lady Bears are the top-rated team in the Big 12 Conference at No. 4, followed by Texas, who received one first place vote and tied for No. 6 with Ohio State. Oklahoma and West Virginia check in at No. 18 and No. 25, respectively.

Entering her 17th season, head coach Kim Mulkey’s Baylor squad returns 10 letterwinners, including four starters, senior Nina Davis, redshirt senior Alexis Jones, junior Kristy Wallace and sophomore Beatrice Mompremier, from last year’s 36-2 team that reached the Elite Eight for the third consecutive year. The Lady Bears also played their way to their sixth consecutive Big 12 Conference title.

Davis, a two-time All-American, and Jones, an honorable mention All-American, lead Baylor. Davis, the 2017 Preseason All-Big 12 Player of the Year, averaged 16.3 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game last year, while Jones averaged 15 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game. The duo recorded 40 percent of the team’s total offense last season.

Davis and Jones were both named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team, while sophomore Kalani Brown earned Preseason Honorable Mention All-Big 12 recognition. In 38 games played last season, Brown averaged 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds off the bench.

The Lady Bears add the top-ranked recruiting class to its roster for the season in No. 1 Lauren Cox, No. 8 Natalie Chou and No. 40 Calveion Landrum. Cox, the 2016 WBCA High School Player of the Year, was recently named 2017 Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

Following exhibition games against Emporia State on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. (CT) and Langston on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m., Baylor opens the regular season against Houston Baptist on Nov. 11 at 3:30 p.m.

USA TODAY Sports Preseason Coaches Poll (Oct. 7)

Rank Team (First Place Votes) – Points; 2015-16 Record
1. Connecticut (18) – 755; 38-0
2. Notre Dame (8) – 739; 33-2
3. South Carolina (3) – 712; 33-2
4. Baylor (2) – 709; 36-2
5. Maryland – 603; 31-4
T6. Texas (1) – 594; 31-5
T6. Ohio State – 594; 26-8
8. Louisville – 586; 26-8
9. UCLA – 481; 26-9
10. Stanford – 467; 27-8
11. Mississippi State – 446; 28-8
12. Florida State – 431; 25-8
13. Syracuse – 394; 30-8
14. Tennessee – 360; 22-14
15. Washington – 352; 26-11
16. Arizona State – 321; 26-7
17. Oregon State – 255; 32-5
18. Oklahoma – 235; 22-11
19. Kentucky – 227; 25-8
20. Miami (FL) – 179; 24-9
21. DePaul – 173; 27-9
22. Michigan State – 167; 25-9
23. Texas A&M – 123; 22-10
24. Florida – 101; 22-9
25. West Virginia – 76; 25-10

Football

  • After completing its second bye week of the season, Baylor football is now gearing up for the meat of its Big 12 schedule over the next six weeks. From Baylor Lariat.

The Bears currently sit at 6-0 overall, 3-0 in the conference and are ranked eighth in the latest Associated Press Poll and sixth in the Coaches Poll.

If the Bears are to continue their rise through the rankings and inch closer to a conference championship and potential birth in the College Football playoff, they will have to prove they can win on the road. First up on the Bears’ agenda is Saturday’s matchup with the Texas Longhorns in Austin.

Texas’ season started promisingly when they upset then No. 10 ranked Notre Dame 50-47 in overtime. The Longhorns have faltered, dropping four of their last six games, and will enter the contest with Baylor 3-4 overall, 1-3 in the Big 12. The Longhorns lost last week to Kansas State 24-21.

Despite the Longhorns’ recent struggles, the Bears are prepared for their best effort in what is sure to be a hostile environment at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

“We’re going against a very talented football team … on the road. Road games are tough, and we saw that this last weekend for every team in the country,” said acting head coach Jim Grobe. “It’s going to take a lot of focus. We’re playing a very talented, well-coached football team in Texas.”

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