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Daily Bears Report 11/26

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Volleyball to end season at home with toughest challenge of the year. Basketball wins on both fronts, men’s brings home a trophy. Football continues downward spiral.

Baylor Basketball (M): 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis Champions

Today’s Events

Volleyball

Baylor volleyball (21-10, 9-6 Big 12) finishes out a historic regular season campaign, hosting the No. 4 Kansas Jayhawks (25-2, 14-1 Big 12) today, at 1 p.m. in the Ferrell Center. Story compiled Baylor Bears dot com and BearsExtra.

Baylor continues to position itself for the program’s first postseason berth since 2011, with an opportunity to pick up Baylor’s first-ever win over a top-five team. They’ll be seeking their first win over a top-10 foe this year, which would be another feather in their cap as they push for their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2011.

Fourth-ranked Kansas volleyball seeks to finish the regular season on a high note, entering Saturday's finale at Baylor with a chance to clinch sole possession of the Big 12 Conference title. From KU Athletics.

The fourth-ranked Jayhawks (24-2, 14-1 Big 12) clinched at least a share of its first-ever conference title last Saturday with a five-set victory over Iowa State on Senior Day. Kansas enters Saturday one match ahead of Texas (13-2) in the Big 12 standings. A Kansas win would put KU alone in first place.

Saturday's contest in Waco will be the third-straight Senior Day match Kansas will be participating, including wins over West Virginia (Nov. 16) in Morgantown and Iowa State (Nov. 19) in Lawrence. Both were five-set victories.

Baylor (21-10, 9-6) is led by junior outside hitter Katie Staiger's Big 12-leadings numbers of 5.58 kills per set and 6.14 points per set.

The series between Kansas and Baylor is tied, 22-22. Kansas leads the series, 21-20, during Big 12 regular-season play. The Jayhawks are 11-3 against Baylor since 2009, including a current seven-match winning streak.

Last time the teams met, Kansas snapped Baylor's 10-match winning streak with a four-set victory (22-25, 25-19, 25-13, 25-23) on Oct. 1 in Lawrence with BU pushing the Jayhawks to four sets, but unable to pull off the upset in front of the KU home crowd. The full four set Oct 1 match can be re-played on YouTube at this link.

BU is chasing its 22nd win of the season, a first for the team since the 2009 squad.

KU holds a large advantage in recent seasons, with the Jayhawks winning the last seven meetings between the squads.

Saturday’s match will be televised on FOX Sports Southwest Plus, with the Voice of the Bears, John Morris, handling play-by-play, and former Baylor volleyball standout, Tori Cox, offering color commentary.

For this and all other Baylor home matches, fans can tune into the live internet video and radio broadcast on BaylorBears.com/allaccess.

Lady Bears Basketball

The No. 5 Baylor Lady Bears opened the Gulf Coast Showcase at Germain Arena with an 84-42 win over the Kent State Golden Flashes. SBNation’s Swish Appeal has the complete story here.

The Lady Bears dominated the post, holding a 50-14 points advantage in the paint and 49-23 lead in rebounds. Baylor will advance to Game 7 on Nov. 26 at 5:00 pm to play the winner of today’s 1:30 game between DePaul and Western Kentucky.

“Obviously we want to win,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. “Today allowed me to rest a lot of main players ... but it also is showing me who I can count on when those main players are in foul trouble or aren’t playing well.”

Baylor stole the show(case) in the first quarter, as they dominated on both sides of the court and held the Golden Flashes to a mere eight points. Kent State junior forward Jordan Korinek put up the first points for the Golden Flashes on a jumper, and with the first three-pointer of the game, senior guard Larissa Lurken became the 20th 1,000 point scorer in program history.

However, Baylor quickly responded and commanded control of the game with 15-3 run in seven and a half minutes. The Lady Bears shot 40 percent (6-of-15) from the field, and held the Golden Flashes to 23 percent (3-of-13). Beatrice Mompremier led all scorers with five points and four rebounds, and led Baylor to a 17-8 lead after the first 10 minutes of play.

“I think that a lot of what they do comes off of rebounds,” Mulkey said. “I have the luxury of having five outstanding post players. We go to the boards hard. We go to the offensive boards; we go to the defensive boards.”

Baylor woke up early to play Friday’s opening game at the Gulf Coast Showcase against Kent State in Estero, Fla., and put the game away almost as quick. From Bears Extra has more on the story here.

Behind huge games off the bench from Kalani Brown and Lauren Cox and 23 assists on 35 field goals, the Lady Bears cruised to a 84-42 win.

Brown led No. 5 Baylor (5-1) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Cox added 15 points, including her first career three-pointer.

Baylor will face No. 18 DePaul (4-0) on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the semifinals.

“I think we started off sloppy, because it is an early start,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “But just take a deep breath and realize some people didn’t wake up today … you have the opportunity to go coach and play this great game, so let’s get after it.”

The foreshadowing came on the opening tip-off, when Baylor's Beatrice Mompremier barely had to move to win possession against Kent State's Naddiyah Cross. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Then again, Mompremier is nearly a foot taller than Cross.

So a lopsided height advantage decided the game's first play, and plenty of plays after that as well. Kalani Brown scored 17 points, Lauren Cox added 15 and No. 5 Baylor rolled past Kent State 84-42 on Friday in the opening game of the Gulf Coast Showcase.

Brown, Cox and Mompremier -- all between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-7, bigger than anyone who dared defend them -- combined to make 19 of their 25 shots, and Baylor (5-1) enjoyed a 49-23 rebounding edge.

"Really, you could just flip a coin," said Brown, who shot 8 for 9 and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in just 16 minutes. "All of us did great things today and used it to our advantage, I guess."

Baylor took control with a 15-0 run in the first quarter, and shot 52 percent.

"I have the luxury of having five outstanding post players," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. "I have the three really big ones and two that are somewhat undersized, but we go to the boards hard."

Larissa Lurken scored 15 for Kent State (2-3), which has dropped three straight. The Golden Flashes shot 29 percent for the game, 10 percent in the final quarter.

"We were just proud of the opportunity to play against a team like Baylor and compete at the highest level," Kent State coach Todd Starkey said. "I thought our kids did a good job of executing. We had a couple things happen today that some of our players are going to remember for the rest of their lives."

Among those things: Lurken scored her 1,000th career point, and senior Lacey Miller got the first basket of her college career.

"Those are the types of things those kids will be telling their families 20, 30 years down the road," Starkey said.

No Baylor player logged more than 23 minutes, which could help the Bears' cause as the three-games-in-three-days tournament goes along. ... The Bears improved to 17-0 in 2016 against unranked opponents, 4-0 this season. ... Mompremier is playing this weekend about two hours from her Miami home, and reserve Alyssa Fry spent her senior high school season about 90 minutes north of the tournament site at IMG Academy in Bradenton.

The Lady Bears face No. 18 DePaul in tournament semifinals today at 4:00 p.m. CT.

Men’s Basketball

Baylor coach Scott Drew got more than a trophy out of his trip to the Bahamas this week. From BearsExtra.

He gained more confidence in his team a learned a lot about what they’re made of.“We can play with anybody, we can beat anybody,” Drew said. “Going in we thought we could beat anybody but it’s another thing to be able to beat anybody. So far this team hasn’t been beaten and because of that, with the quality wins.”

No. 20 Baylor was down 22 at one point but used an electric second half rally to beat No. 10 Louisville, 66-63, on Friday in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game.

Little had gone right for No. 20 Baylor when it headed to the locker room in Friday's Battle 4 Atlantis championship game, trailing at halftime for the third straight day -- though this time by a big margin. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Maybe that made it easier for the Bears to shrug all that off and respond with a whopper of a comeback to claim the title.

News Clippings

Scott Drew's Baylor Bears beat Louisville to win Battle 4 Atlantis tournament - CBSSports.com

Baylor is 6-0 and leading the nation with four top-40 KenPom wins

Baylor rallies in second half to beat Louisville for Battle 4 Atlantis title - LA Times

King McClure scored all 15 of his points in the second half and No. 20 Baylor rallied from 22 points down to beat No. 10 Louisville, 66-63, on Friday in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game at Paradise Island, Bahamas. Johnathan Motley also had 15 points, and Terry Maston had 10 of his 12 in...

No. 20 Baylor rallies to beat No. 10 Louisville in Bahamas - WacoTrib.com: AP Wire

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Little had gone right for No. 20 Baylor when it headed to the locker room in Friday's Battle 4 Atlantis championship game, trailing at halftime for the third straight day — though this time by a big margin.

NCAA MB Baylor Bears men's basketball vs. Louisvile Cardinals recap | The Star-Telegram

The Baylor Bears men’s basketball team is serving notice to Big 12 teams that it will be a force in the conference this season. The Bears rallied from 22 down to beat Louisville.

No. 20 Baylor's bench sparks Battle 4 Atlantis title run (Nov 26, 2016) | FOX Sports

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) It turns out Baylor coach Scott Drew has plenty to work with on his bench. His 20th-ranked Bears wouldn't have won the Battle 4 Atlantis otherwise.

Post Game Press Conference

Football

Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes has a decision to make after becoming just the third player in FBS history to record 5,000 yards total offense in back-to-back seasons. Story by Baylor Bear Foundation’s Jerry Hill from Baylor Bears Dot com.

If the Baylor Bears get a vote, they're hoping the junior moves on to the NFL.

Making his third start against the Bears in the Farm Bureau Insurance Shootout at AT&T Stadium, Mahomes threw for 586 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Red Raiders to a 54-35 victory Friday night in their season finale and possibly his last collegiate game.

"Unfortunately, we have seen a lot of good ones," Baylor coach Jim Grobe said after the Bears lost their fifth in a row, falling to 6-5 overall and 3-5 in the Big 12. "And I would say he's as good as any of them. He's not as much a threat to run the football. But some of the things he did tonight, especially when he got flushed out of the pocket, some of the throws he made were really, really impressive."

In three games against Baylor, all at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium, Mahomes threw for 1,599 yards and 15 touchdowns. But, this was Tech's first win in the series since 2010 when the game was played at the Cotton Bowl.

"He's a huge Cowboys fan, so every year we played here he seems to put on a show and loves playing in this arena," said Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, whose team (5-7, 3-6) bounced back from a 66-10 loss at Iowa State six days ago. "He got us going early, stayed hot and protected the football. And you know, he's very talented. When he can hang in the pocket and make throws like that, he's hard to beat."

Baylor freshman quarterback Zach Smith provided some fireworks of his own, completing 30-of-46 passes for a career-best 377 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

"Zach is special. I love that kid," Grobe said. "He's got a great work ethic, he's really smart, he's really talented. And he's in a tough position right now because we're asking him to do it as a true freshman. . . . We're going to demand more, but I couldn't expect more. I think he's playing as hard as he can right now."

Making just his second start, Smith got the game started on a good note when he hooked up with KD Cannon for a 53-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-three play. The Bears converted just once in their next four tries on fourth down and finished 4-of-9 for the game.

"We really should not be in a situation where we're having to go for everything on fourth down to keep drives alive," Grobe said. "We were just too sloppy and undisciplined to win."

Converting twice on third down, the Red Raiders drove 77 yards in 10 plays and tied it with a 35-yard TD pass from Mahomes to Keke Coutee, who finished with 221 yards and two TDs on eight catches.

The Bears failed to hold serve when Tech linebacker Luke Stice recovered a Blake Lynch fumble at the Baylor 40. On the first of three one-play scoring drives in the first half, receiver Dylan Cantrell beat cornerback Tion Wright and hauled in a 40-yard TD pass to give the Red Raiders the lead for good, 13-7.

"(Mahomes) can keep plays alive, and he always keeps his eyes downfield," said Baylor linebacker Aiavion Edwards. "If you give him any time at all, he's going to find an open target, and most likely deep."

That was part of 34 unanswered points by the Red Raiders, with running back DaLeon Ward scoring from five yards out, followed by TD bombs of 81 yards to Quan Shorts and an 80-yarder to Coutee.

"Defensively, we've got to keep people in front of us," Grobe said. "I think we want to play aggressively. But at times, we probably crowded them too much and gave them home runs."

During that stretch, Baylor failed on a fourth-down play from the Red Raiders' 41, had two three-and-outs and also missed a 37-yard field goal try by Chris Callahan. The Bears were just 2-of-5 on red-zone opportunities in the first half.

"We had 634 yards offense and really not much to show for it," Grobe said. "If you look at the times that we were across the 50 and down close with a chance to come away with points that we came away with no points, we could have had a really good day offensively and didn't."

Baylor didn't go quietly, though. The Bears had two quick-strike touchdowns in the second quarter and pulled to within 41-21 at the break on Smith's 21-yard TD pass to Ishmael Zamora, who had 155 yards on a career-high 12 catches.

"Pretty much everything was clicking, for the most part," Smith said. "I knew we were going to have to go out there and score a lot of points, because Texas Tech is a great team. They're going to score a lot of points. I knew we had to throw the ball around the yard."

Even trailing by 20 at halftime, Edwards said "no game is out of hand" with an explosive Baylor offense that's capable of scoring in a hurry.

"No game is really out of hand if we take care of our business," he said. "As a defense, we couldn't get the stops we needed to give those guys another opportunity to get out there."

Baylor's defense did come up with some stops in the second half, holding the Red Raiders to a pair of chip-shot field goals by Clayton Hatfield and forcing two punts. But, it wasn't enough.

Mahomes was 6-of-9 for 39 yards on the opening series of the third quarter, hooking up with Cantrell for a six-yard TD pass that pushed the lead to 48-21. Cantrell caught nine passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bears needed just 49 seconds to answer. Terence Williams, who posted his third 100-yard game of the season and fifth of his career with 147 yards on 23 carries, broke loose for a 57-yard run and then finished it with a score from one yard out that made it a 20-point game again, 48-28.

As a team, Baylor rushed for 257 yards on 53 attempts for a 4.8-yard average. But, sophomore right tackle Patrick Lawrence said, "We needed to put more points on the board. It's that simple."

Driving 74 yards in 10 plays, the Bears were in position late in the third quarter to make things interesting and make this a two-possession game. But, on second-and-goal from the 2, Tech free safety Jah'Shawn Johnson recovered a Williams fumble that snuffed out that threat.

Baylor, which had trailed by at least 20 since early in the second quarter, did get within 16 on Smith's nine-yard TD pass to KD Cannon with 14:36 left in the fourth.

Drew Galitz's ensuing on-side kick took a perfect bounce over Tech's front line of receivers, but Kevin Moore recovered for the Red Raiders at the 50. That set up Hatfield's 27-yard field goal that pushed it back to a three-score game, 54-35, with 11:09 left.

Any chances of a miracle comeback, like the 61-58 win over TCU two years ago, ended when Johnson picked off a Smith pass with 6:32 showing on the clock.

"I definitely felt a little bit more comfortable, a little more poised," Smith said. "I just missed a couple balls that were pretty important. You've got to go out next week against West Virginia and execute a lot better.

The Bears close out the regular season against No. 17/19 West Virginia (8-2, 5-2) at 2:30 p.m. next Saturday, Dec. 3, in Morgantown, W. Va. West Virginia faces Iowa State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Ames, Iowa, hoping to bounce back from a 56-28 loss to Oklahoma that knocked the Mountaineers out of the Big 12 title race.

"These last five games, it's been rough for us," Edwards said. "We've worked hard. We just haven't been able to come out with the outcome we needed. So, to go in there and (beat them) would be a huge deal for this team."

News Clippings

Texas Tech crushes Baylor, 54-35 | Amarillo Globe-News

ARLINGTON — Patrick Mahomes had another stellar game for Texas Tech in an NFL stadium. The Red Raiders now wait to find out if the dual-threat quarterback stays for his senior season or leaves early for the NFL draft.In what might have been his last college game, Mahomes threw for 586 yards and matched a career high with six touchdown passes as Texas Tech won its season finale 54-35 over Baylor on Friday night.

Texas Tech blows out Baylor in Arlington 54-35

The Baylor Bears gave up 6 touchdown passes to Patrick Mahomes and his Texas Tech offense as the Red Raiders routed the Bears 54-35 in Arlington.

Texas Tech vs. Baylor score and recap, Nov. 26, 2016 | The Star-Telegram

Texas Tech, Baylor each end disappointing seasons in a flurry of yards, points and not much defense.

Tech’s Mahomes dices up Baylor’s tired defense in 54-35 win - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Bears Football

ARLINGTON – Out of the postseason picture, Texas Tech approached its season finale at AT&T Stadium like it was its bowl game.

Mahomes’ 6 TDs Leads Texas Tech To 54-35 Win Over Baylor " CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Patrick Mahomes threw for 586 yards and matched his career high with six touchdown passes, including three on one-play drives before halftime, as Texas Tech finished its season with a 54-35 victory over Baylor on Friday night.