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Daily Bears Report 1/18/17 - Bears Roaring Back With Strong 2017 Class

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Lady Bears ready to dish out another beat down. MBB thrashes Texas. Baseball TV schedule.

Baylor v Buffalo Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Special Bulletin: Texas lost to Kansas - in football.

Today’s Events

Women's Basketball, vs Iowa State, 7:00 PM, Listen, Watch

Acrobatics and Tumbling

The Baylor acrobatics and tumbling meet vs. Oregon on April 2 will be broadcast on TV, the program announced Tuesday.

The 1:00 p.m. CT meet will air on FOX Sports Plus as the Bears take on the Ducks in Waco at the Ferrell Center in a 2016 National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association national championship rematch. BU has won the past two NCATA national titles, and begins its 2017 season on Feb. 12 in a home meet vs. Quinnipiac.

Baseball

  • Baylor baseball will feature 16 home TV games during the upcoming 2017 season on the FOX Sports family of networks, the program announced Tuesday. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The 16-game slate begins with two of the three tilts from the season-opening series vs. Niagara on Feb. 17 and Feb. 19, both on FOX Sports Southwest (FSSW). Games on Feb. 26 vs. South Alabama and March 12 vs. Houston will also be on FSSW. Two of the three games in the Big 12-opening series vs. West Virginia will air on FOX Sports Plus (FSP) on March 18 and FOX College Sports (FCS) on March 19. The March 21 contest vs. Dallas Baptist will also be on FSP.

The Bears’ final three Big 12 home series will air in their entirety. The March 24-26 Oklahoma series will be on FCS, FSP and FSSW. The April 13-15 Texas series will be on FSSW, FSP and FSSW. The May 18-20 Kansas State regular season final series will be on FSP, FSP and FSSW.

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Men’s Basketball

It's safe to say he was smiling Tuesday night.

Baylor's 6-foot-10 junior forward had career highs with 32 points and 20 rebounds as the sixth-ranked Bears (17-1, 5-1) defeated the Texas Longhorns, 74-64, before a Ferrell Center crowd of 7,604.

"I tried to do everything I could to be better than I was the last game, and help my team win," said Motley, who was 12-of-19 from the floor and 8-of-11 from the line, adding three blocks, two assists and a steal in 32 minutes. "It's kind of hard to explain. You don't really remember what you do, you're just kind of out there going through it. I can't really tell you the moves I made. I just forgot, it just goes away."

Baylor coach Scott Drew liked that response. "That's the right attitude. Focus on the next play. I like that."

Motley is the fourth player in program history to score 30 or more points and grab 20 or more rebounds in a game, joining Jerry Mallett (1957), Darrell Hardy (1966) and Rico Gathers (2015). Purdue's Caleb Swanigan is the only other NCAA Division I player to produce those numbers this season, while Oklahoma's Blake Griffin (2009) was the last player to do it in a Big 12 game.

"Obviously, Mot statistically had a whale of a game," said Drew, whose team matched its best 18-game start in school history. "But, his teammates did a great job of getting him the ball where he could be successful. We were going to sub him out, but his teammates were like, `No, we've got to keep him in.' That shows their love for him."

Texas coach Shaka Smart, whose team fell to 7-11 overall and 1-5, said the thing that Motley has improved from a year ago is "he keeps getting better with his motor."

"That's how he got a lot of those rebounds. He just stayed with them, stayed with them, kept fighting, went after them. Anytime you get 30 and 20, I don't care where it is or who you are, that's really impressive. We don't see that very often."

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Playing with high emotion against longtime rival Texas, Motley amassed a career-high 32 points and 20 rebounds to lift No. 6 Baylor to a 74-64 win before 7,604 fans Tuesday night at the Ferrell Center.

The Baylor basketball players wore the names of the Immortal Ten on the back of their jerseys. Jan. 22 will mark the 90th anniversary of the 1927 crash when 10 basketball players, coaches and fans died when the Baylor bus was hit by a train in Round Rock en route to Austin where they were scheduled to face Texas that day.

“It was pretty cool to honor the people who came before us,” Motley said. “We did a good job doing that and getting the win. I wasn’t too happy with myself the last two games. I felt I was a better player than what I showed and I just tried to bounce back the best I could.”

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WATCH: Baylor basketball managers take trick shots to new level.

Lady Bears Basketball

  • Just when you thought things couldn’t get any tougher for the Iowa State women’s basketball team, they face a trip to Baylor. From the Des Moines Register.

The Cyclones will try to win their second Big 12 Conference game of the season when they play at No. 2 Baylor on Wednesday at 7 p.m., at the Ferrell Center.

Baylor owns a 17-1 mark and an unblemished 6-0 record in Big 12 play. The only team to take down Baylor this season: No. 1 UCONN.

It’s another tough opponent for the Cyclones (10-7, 1-5 in Big 12), who have already faced their share of adversity this season. Iowa State is coming off back-to-back losses and has lost five out of its last six games.

Iowa State will have to find a way to slow down the Lady Bears, who have plenty of scoring threats. Four players are averaging in double figures in scoring: Alexis Jones (15.3 points), Kalani Brown (13.8), Nina Davis (11.6) and Alexis Prince (11.1).

Famous OBF Quote: “That is 52 points per game from four of five starters. Add in Kristi Wallace and the Lady Bears bench which is better than most team’s starters and you’ve got another beat down coming tonight.”

When Kim Mulkey challenges the 6-foot-7 sophomore post in practice or during a game, and Brown "puts my anger out there," the Baylor coach shoots back, "You need to play like that all the time."

"Kalani is just a very, very sweet and pleasant person," Mulkey says of Brown, a Slidell, La., native and prep All-American at Salmen High School. "It's not that you want to change her personality and just make her this mean girl, but you want her to have some tough and aggressive and mean moments where you make her mad. And I think she's getting better at that.

"She's just so strong. Kalani doesn't realize how strong a body she is. She's just a load in there to try to guard."

Brown adamantly says, "I've got a temper." But, her smile gives it away.

"(Coach Mulkey) says I'm a gentle giant. I don't know about that," Brown said. "Everyone says it, I guess because I'm sweet. But, I feel like I'm aggressive. I think I am. . . . OK, that's a question mark."

Just think what she could be if she was a little meaner.

After being named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team last year, when she averaged 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds, Brown has boosted those numbers to 13.8 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game this season for the No. 2 Lady Bears (17-1, 6-0).

The biggest difference is her conditioning. She averaged less than 15 minutes per game last season and was still getting winded.

"I thought, `What can I do to get more minutes, to be on the floor? What can I do to help my team?''' she said. "Being out there, being able to last longer, was one of the key things. So this summer, I was in the gym doing extra work. After we worked out, I would come back after class and work out again."

With strength and conditioning coach Jeremy Heffner pushing her, there were many days where she was "dead tired."

"But, I had to keep pushing. I was like, `This is going to pay off.' And sure enough, it did."

It showed even before the season started. In one of the first practices, it clicked with her, "Wait, I'm not dying. There's something going on. I've got some air to give.

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New Associate Vice President for Athletics Operations

  • Jeramiah Dickey, Deputy Athletics Director at the University of Houston, will become Baylor University's Associate Vice President for Athletics Operations effective Feb. 13, Vice President and Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades announced today. From Baylor Bears dot com.

"We are thrilled to welcome Jeramiah, his wife Elizabeth, and their children, Emerson and Eli, to the Baylor Athletics family," Rhoades said. "Having worked with Jeramiah at three institutions, I have found him to be an extremely talented administrator of great integrity and faith who believes in Baylor's Christian mission.

"He is recognized as a rising superstar in intercollegiate athletics with extensive experience in both the external and internal operations of an athletics department and is a seasoned sports program administrator. Jeramiah will play a significant role in advancing Baylor Athletics and our student-athlete centered mission of Preparing Champions for Life."

In his new position at Baylor, Dickey will provide leadership, oversight and management to various external and internal units within the department while serving as sport program administrator for select programs. He will also serve as a senior advisory staff member to Rhoades and establish, foster and maintain clear and concise communications with coaches, administration and direct reports with regard to the department's strategic initiatives and unit strategies, goals and objectives.

"I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity Mack Rhoades and Baylor University has provided me," Dickey said. "I want to personally thank Hunter Yurachek and our many supporters and team members at the University of Houston. My family and I look forward to joining the Waco community, and we are excited about the future direction of Baylor Athletics."

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Men’s Tennis

  • Baylor men's tennis sophomore Juan Benitez was named the Big 12 Player of the Week Tuesday, after going a combined 9-0 in singles and doubles play at the Sherwood Collegiate Cup. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Benitez claimed both the tournament’s singles title with five wins in four days at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., as well as the doubles crown by tallying a 4-0 mark with teammate Max Tchoutakian.

Benitez won all of his singles matches in straight sets, including two wins over ranked foes UCLA’s Joseph DiGuilio (No. 90) and the 44th-ranked Tchoutakian.

In the last match of the tournament, Benitez posted a 6-0, 6-4 victory against Tchoutakian to win the singles crown. Baylor players have now won four Sherwood singles titles overall and two straight with Benitez joining Matija Zgaga (2006), Lars Poerschke (2008) and Julian Lenz (2016).

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Football

It was December 28th that Baylor opened the gates to their 2017 recruiting class – an entrance previously tarnished by the controversies of a difficult year. From Texas High School Football dot com.

On that Wednesday morning, Houston Lamar senior defensive back Trevon Lewis announced his commitment to the Bears, effectively inviting fellow Texas athletes to grasp for available scholarships to the previously illustrious program, bolstered by the recruiting presence of new coach Matt Rhule.

A reported yesterday, Xavier Newman is the latest commit to join a resurgent Baylor class that now ranks No. 66 in the nation, filling the 2017 class with three additional recruits Sunday.

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