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Daily Bears Report 2/11/17 - Former Baylor President and Chancelor Ken Starr in Line for US Ambasadorship

Track & Field, Softball, Basketball, Tennis, and Scandall

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Oklahoma State Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Events - 2/11


Men’s Tennis

The 13th-ranked Baylor men's tennis team recorded its fifth shutout of the season with a 4-0 victory over Purdue Friday at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Baylor got off to a fast start by winning the doubles point. First, Juan Benitez and Constantin Frantzen downed Ricky Mednilla and Stephan Koenigfest, 6-4, at the No. 2 spot. Max Tchoutakian and Johannes Schretter clinched the doubles point for the Bears with a 6-3 victory over Dominik Sochurek and Benjamin Ugarte at the top of the doubles lineup.

However, Purdue turned the tide in singles, winning four of six singles first sets.

The Bears turned one of those first sets wins into a straight-set victory as Will Little polished off Sochurek, 6-1, 6-3, at the No. 5 position.

BU worked to turned all of its first-set losses around, winning second-sets in three of the four matches, including 54th-ranked Benitez taking care of Gergely Madarasz, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, at the top of the singles lineup.

Jimmy Bendeck clinched the match for the Bears with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory against Koenigfest at the No. 3 spot.

"I think it's a learning experience. We haven't practiced that well lately. I think we have to do a better job preparing and that certainly carries over to how we perform. We have a young team, they're passionate and come out and fight hard in their matches, but we have to have a little more passion to prepare than we have so far and once we have, we have a chance to be really good." - head coach Matt Knoll on the match.

Baylor will now travel to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va., Feb. 17-20. The bracket for that event will be announced next week.

Track & Field

  • In its fourth weekend of competition, the majority of Baylor's track and field team will be in action at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., while eight other athletes will travel to the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, Friday and Saturday. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Currently, Baylor's women's team is ranked 12th, while its men's squad is listed as the 38th-best team by the USTFCCCA.

Baylor is scheduled to have 30 athletes in action, including 16 women and 14 men, at the Tyson Invitational. The meet at the Randal Tyson Track Center is slated to get underway Friday with field events starting at 1 p.m. and running events at 1:30 p.m. On Saturday, field events begin at 11 a.m., while running action kicks off at 1 p.m.

Continue Reading . . .

  • Led by the 400-meter performance of newcomer Leticia De Souza, Baylor's track and field teams opened the Tyson Invitational with eight top-10 finishes Friday at the Randal Tyson Track Center. From Baylor Bears dot com.

De Souza, a junior, closed strong in her race to notch a personal-best time of 52.54 to be third in the invitational section of the 400 meters. That mark, which is second-fastest in school history, would have been fifth nationally entering the weekend.

On the men’s side in the invitational 400 meters, George Caddick produced a season-best mark of 46.52 to be third as well. Caddick has improved his 400-meter time in all three races this season, starting at 47.10, before running 46.61 last week.

Baylor’s lone athlete to advance from the prelims all the way to the finals on the day was Rhys Phillips in the 60-meter hurdles. He used times of 7.95 and then 7.88 in the prelims and semifinals, respectively, to reach the finals. In that race, Phillips took sixth in a season-best in 7.88. In the men’s invitational mile, TJ Sugg was fifth with a personal-best time of 4:09.81.

Meanwhile in the collegiate section of the 400 meters, the Bears had three top-10 finishers, including Wil London, who placed second with a season-best time of 46.74. Fellow sophomore Caleb Dickson was eighth in a personal-best time of 47.42. On the women’s side in the event, freshman Victoria Powell placed 10th in 54.63.

Meanwhile in Ames, Iowa, the Bears had four women’s distance runners in action at the Iowa State Classic.

To close out the night, Maggie Montoya ran the seventh-best time (9:12.89) in school history to place second in the 3,000 meters. That mark is 11th-best in the NCAA entering the weekend.

In the 5,000 meters, Lindsey Bradley tallied the sixth-best time in BU history with a mark of 16:13.51. That time placed her 12th in the highly competitive field, but was the best time in the Big 12 this season in the event. Bradley’s teammate, Peyton Thomas, suffered a fall, but still achieved over a 14-second PR to place 17th in 16:23.21.

Baylor will be back in action at both the Tyson Invitational and the Iowa State Classic on Saturday. Field events begin at 11 a.m., while running action kicks off at 1 p.m. in Arkansas, while BU’s 800-meter races start at 2:55 p.m. in Iowa

Women’s Basketball

  • Lady Bear Alexis Jones is on several late season watchlists including the Wooden Award, the Naismith Award and the Dawn Staley Award. Redshirt senior Alexis Jones, who averages 14.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game for the Lady Bears, remains in the running for two top point guard awards and three national player of the year awards. Jones is one of 10 finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award (top guard nationally). She is one of 19 players included on the 2017 Dawn Staley Award Midseason Watch List (top guard nationally). The Irving, Texas, native is included on the 2017 Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year Top 30 list. • Jones is included on the 2017 John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list (national player of the year). Jones and Nina Davis both remain in consideration for the 2017 Wade Trophy, as they were named to the watch list on Dec. 1.
  • Senior Nina Davis is five rebounds from recording 1,000 in her Baylor career (995). She would be the sixth player to tally 1,000 or more rebounds in Lady Bears basketball history. The Memphis, Tenn., native, who enters Sunday’s game with 2,246 career points, would be the fifth player to register at least 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in program history.

Men’s Basketball

Women’s Tennis

  • Baylor women’s tennis senior Blair Shankle is Big 12 Co-Player of the Week after guiding the Lady Bears to wins over Oregon and Washington in Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center last weekend. It is her first weekly conference honor of the season and the fourth of her career.
  • After back-to-back weekend matches, the Baylor women’s tennis team (4-0) will host Rice (4-1) for the 24th meeting of the series. First serve of the dual match is set for 1 p.m. (CT) at Hurd Tennis Center. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Prior to the match, children 11-years-old or younger are invited to take part in Baylor’s free Cub Tennis program. Participants must wear athletic clothing and shoes. Tennis equipment will be provided.

The Lady Bears lead the all-time series against Rice, 13-12, most recently recording a 4-2 victory over the then-ranked No. 41 Owls on April 13, 2016.

“Rice has a great team,” 15th-year head coach Joey Scrivano said. “Every time we’ve played them in the past it’s been a real battle. They’re well-coached, they’re disciplined and they fight hard. Our rivalry with them only adds to that; they’re always ready to play.”

Baylor is undefeated with four home wins on the 2017 season, notching dual match triumphs over McNeese State (4-0), UT Rio Grande Valley (4-0), Oregon (4-3) and Washington (4-3).

Continue Reading . . .

Scandal Fallout

  • Former Baylor President Ken Starr, is reportedly close to joining U.S. President Trump’s administration. This is not an early April Fool’s gag: From the Washington Post.

Starr is among a handful of candidates in the running to be named ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom at the State Department.

“It’s my understanding that it’s his job if he wants it,” a person described as familiar with the vetting process told Foreign Policy.

The job entails monitoring the persecution of religious minorities, and under Trump, it is expected to focus on Christians who are under duress in majority-Muslim countries. Starr (via the Baylor Lariat) has called “education and religious liberty” his “two abiding passions.”

"I filed (the bill) to prevent Baylor-like sexual assault scandals in Texas universities and community colleges,” Canales said Friday.

"I have a daughter who is just a few years away from college. For her sake and the safety of all college students, I believe we need to do more to address sexual assault, family violence, and stalking on our college campuses,” he said.

The measure, which some are calling the ‘Baylor Bill,” would require state institutions of higher education to make their policies on campus sexual assault, family violence and stalking available in student and personnel handbooks as well as on a website dedicated solely to the policy.

It would also require the schools to require every entering freshman or undergraduate transfer student to attend an orientation on the policy before or during their first term at the institution.

Schools would also be required to develop and implement prevention and outreach programs on sexual assault, family violence and stalking and to “address a range of strategies to prevent campus sexual assault, family violence and stalking.”

Any school that fails to comply with the requirements would be subject to a loss of state funding for the next fiscal year.