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Daily Bears Report 11/20

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Volleyball gets season sweep over Oklahoma. Cross Country places 27th nationally. Lady Bears back at home and signing autographs.

Kansas State v Baylor Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Sunday’s Events

Women's Basketball, vs Mississippi Valley State, 2:00 PM, WATCH and/or LISTEN IMG or LISTEN ESPN 1660 AM

Lady Bears’ Basketball

The Lady Bears will be giving out autographs after today’s game in the Ferrell Center. Our Daily Bears has that story and more here.

Fans can stream the game online at www.BaylorBears.com or tune in to the game on the Baylor Sports Network, IMG College and ESPN 1660 AM. Rick May (play-by-play) and Lori Fogelmann (analyst) will call the action.

Volleyball

  • Baylor’s volleyball team rallied from a 2-1 deficit to take the final two sets and a wild 25-21, 12-25, 21-25, 32-30, 15-11 win over Oklahoma on Saturday. From BearsExtra.

The Bears (21-9 overall, 9-5 Big 12) were pushed to the brink several times, battling off four match points from Oklahoma in the fourth set. They eventually scored the winning point in that set on a dump kill from setter Morgan Reed.

In the fifth set, the teams traded points until Baylor closed things on a 6-3 run.

Three players tallied double-doubles for the Bears – Reed (51 assists, 11 digs), Aniah Philo (13 kills, 10 digs) and Katie Staiger (20 kills, 13 digs). Baylor also recorded a season-high 15 blocks.

The win clinched a season sweep of Oklahoma and the first winning Big 12 season for Baylor since 2009. Baylor will host Iowa State on Wednesday.

Cross Country

  • On a cold and windy day, the Baylor women’s cross country team placed 27th at the NCAA Championship Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Course. From KXXV News Channel 25.

Saturday marked Baylor's 16th NCAA appearance and the ninth under head coach Todd Harbour. The Bears entered the race ranked No. 23 in the country, but were unable to overcome the blustery conditions.

Senior Maggie Montoya missed out on All-America honors by four places, finishing 44th in the 6,000-meter race with a time of 20:28.5.

Behind Montoya, freshman Anna West was 120th with a time of 20:55.2, while senior Peyton Thomas took 146th in 21:02.6. Sophomore Lindsey Bradley was next to cross the finish line for the Bears with a time of 21:13.8 to be 175th. Meanwhile, freshman Gabby Satterlee was BU’s final scoring runner with a time of 22:23.0 to be 235th.

Those five runners totaled 586 team points to finish 35 points behind 26th-place Harvard and 10 points ahead of 28th-place UCLA.

The temperature at race time was in the upper 30s, while the wind chill was below freezing.

The two other runners competing for the women were Madie Zimmerman (248th, 23:08.9) and Kathryn Foreman (250th, 23:30.9).

"It was just a rough day. We had higher expectations, but the weather definitely got the better of us. We just couldn’t quite overcome it. Nobody ran really, really bad, we just didn’t have anything really good happen." - head coach Todd Harbour on the race.

"This is a young group. We are definitely going to miss Maggie, Peyton and Madie Zimmerman. They have been a big part of what we have done. However, we still have some good times ahead of us in track, so we are looking forward to that." - Harbour on the future of his team.

The NCAA race completes the 2016 cross country season. Baylor's runners will be back in action with the indoor track and field season starting on Jan. 13.

Baseball

Downey, playing summer travel baseball for the Nashville Knights, had a breakout performance in a Perfect Game USA tournament at Shelby Park in Nashville. That’s when the coaches started calling in earnest.

“After the first tournament, I had like six calls after that,” Downey said. “I was like, ‘This is real.’ It was ridiculous.”

Downey, with a slew of offers in hand, made his decision official last week and celebrated on Friday during a signing ceremony at Warren East – he’ll be heading to Texas to play collegiately for Baylor University.

“He really blew up this summer,” Warren East baseball coach Wes Sanford said.

Downey, a left-handed hitting outfielder, said his final decision came down to choosing between offers from his hometown Western Kentucky Hilltoppers or heading out to Waco, Texas, to play for the Bears. Baylor finished last season 24-29 overall and 10-14 in the Big 12 Conference under first-year head coach Steve Rodriguez.

“I’ve thought about Baylor ever since July 7th or 8th, when they contacted me,” Downey said. “And I was just so surprised when they called, and we got everything set up for an official visit and flew down there. I just fell completely in love with the campus, the coaches, the facilities, just everything.”

Downey said Baylor’s coaching staff has plans for him in center field, where the Bears will lose their senior starter after this season. That sounds good to Downey, who also pitches for Warren East during the high school season.

“Center fielder is home – I believe that’s where I belong,” Downey said.

Track and Field

Baylor’s track and field team has signed 10 athletes for its 2017 fall class. From WacoTrib.

That includes three Central Texas performers – Connally quarter-miler Tontyana Sanders, Belton distance runner Brooke Gilmore and China Spring pole vaulter Riley Richards.

In addition to Sanders and Gilmore, the women’s class includes five more athletes: Cy-Woods hurdler Kennedy Bailey, Brownwood long/triple jumper Alex Madlock, Jersey Village middle distance runner Morgan Stewart, Faith Christian (Colo.) Academy hurdler Sarah Yocum and Round Rock Stony Point sprinter Sydney Washington.

On the men’s side, Richards was joined by Richmond George Ranch hurdler Jayson Baldridge and Fort Worth Boswell jumper Jalen Seals. All three won state titles at the UIL state track meet in May.

Football

  • Alex Barnes rushed 120 of his 129 yards and all four touchdowns in the second half, and Kansas State beat Baylor 42-21 on Saturday. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Baylor (6-4, 3-4) dropped its fourth straight after a 6-0 start.

Barnes scored three times in the third quarter, during which Kansas State had the ball for 11:37 and outgained Baylor 186-38.

Jesse Ertz threw for 177 yards and ran for 46 more, including a 40-yarder on a fourth-down run in the second quarter that set up Kansas State's first score.

Baylor quarterback Zach Smith, threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start. He was intercepted three times in the second half, twice by Donnie Starks. Shock Linwood, Baylor's all-time leading rusher, added 110 yards on 24 carries.

Kansas State returns home for a rivalry game with Kansas next Saturday. A Wildcat win would give Bill Snyder 200 for his career, making him the 26th coach in FBS history to reach that plateau.

Baylor is on a short week, facing a Friday tilt with Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

  • Baylor senior quarterback Seth Russell's career ended a week ago with a gruesome injury. From USA today.

But he did not miss senior day.

Russell drove himself onto the field in a golf cart, just days after surgery to repair his broken left ankle.

According to a statement from his family, Russell's surgery in Fort Worth on Wednesday was successful and he is expected to make a full recovery.

Russell suffered the injury in the third quarter of Baylor's 45-24 loss at Big 12-leading Oklahoma on Saturday.

The family statement said that Russell was questionable to play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 28, a game for which the quarterback has already accepted an invitation, but should be ready for the 2017 NFL Combine that begins Feb. 28 in Indianapolis.

Russell had 2,126 yards passing with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions, and also ran for 506 yards and eight more scores this season. He was 14-3 as the Bears starter.

  • Any truth to this tweet?

But following the Bears’ 42-21 loss to Kansas State on Saturday at McLane Stadium, the players dismissed any notion that they would want to decline a bowl bid.

“This is what we worked for,” nickelback Travon Blanchard said. “We worked hard to get to that bowl game. Of course, we expect to win every season. It hasn’t been happening, but it’s not like we’re just giving up.”

Linebacker Aiavion Edwards echoed that sentiment.

“No matter what happens, I think it’s something we’ve earned,” Edwards said. “It’s something we look forward to playing in each and every year.”

The last, and what is believed to be the only, time Baylor declined a bowl invitation came in 1990. The Bears went 6-4-1 that year under Grant Teaff and were extended a bid to play in the Independence Bowl, but passed on that chance. The game was scheduled for Dec. 15, and conflicted with the players’ schedule for final exams.

At this point, Baylor is staring down the barrel of a 6-6 finish after starting the season 6-0 and reaching #8 in the country. We’ve now lost four games in a row, the last three by a combined score of 149 to 67. That includes two home games -- one against a bitter rival and the other where we were supposed to celebrate one of the most successful senior classes in our history.

  • Baylor University alumni groups are continuing to push for more transparency from the board of regents in the wake of the board’s decision to release agendas and minutes starting with its next meeting, scheduled for February. From WacoTrib.

At the same time, higher education experts say the step to publish agendas and minutes already goes beyond what most private universities do.

John Eddie Williams, a Houston lawyer and prominent Baylor donor, has said the board should release minutes and agendas from the past several years.

Williams has been a vocal critic of the regents through the lens of “Bears for Leadership Reform,” a group of donors and alumni demanding “transparency, accountability and comprehensive reform” after the board’s handling of a sexual assault scandal that has continued for more than a year.

“The recent announcement from the board of regents is a step in the right direction, but it is not nearly enough or timely enough,” Williams said in a statement Friday. “This is just a small, symbolic gesture on the part of the board of regents.”