Week In Review
Kansas 56 Baylor 55
Waco, Texas • Attendance: 7,088
5 days later and this game is still frustrating as all heck. Baylor had multiple chances in the final seconds to pick up a quality win against the bell cow of Big 12 basketball and just were unable to close it out as Kansas escaped the Ferrell Center with a 1 point win. The Bears' zone defense stifled the KU offense in the first half, holding the Jayhawks to just 18 points on 28% shooting, but Baylor only hold a 4 point lead at the break. Bill Self made some key halftime adjustments and KU began to knock down shots early the second half. Baylor hung close the entire way thanks to a 25 point performance from Kenny Chery but it's the ending to this game that will unfortunately be remembered. Down by 1 with under 20 seconds to go, Royce O'Neale and Rico Gathers both missed layups that would've given the Bears the lead. With one final opportunity after a missed KU free throw, Chery allowed the clock to run out rather than put up what would have been a fairly decent look from 35 feet. It was a frustrating loss to say the least.
Baylor 66 TCU 59 (OT)
Fort Worth, Texas • Attendance: 5,388
Speaking of frustrating, this game! Baylor was able to survive an ugly, foul-ridden game to pick up its first Big 12 win of the season on the road over TCU on Saturday. The Bears shot 29.8% from the field for the game, missed 15 free throws, yet still found a way to avoid a loss to a Horned Frog team that has now dropped 21 consecutive Big 12 contests. Baylor was led by a beastly performance from the manly and handsome Rico Gathers. Rico had 17 points to go with 18 (!) rebounds, including 10 offensive boards to keep possessions alive. Taurean Prince also had a double-double off the bench with 17 points and 10 rebounds. There were a couple points late in the second half when it appeared that TCU was primed to pull away but the Bears were able to make the necessary plays to get the game tied. Kenny Chery hit a clutch mid-range jumper to tie the game at 53 in the final minute. In the overtime, Baylor closed out the game at the foul line by hitting 9 of 13 from the stripe. The Baylor defense held TCU to just one field goal that came in the last 15 seconds when the Bears basically had the game locked up. It wasn't pretty, but a conference road win is a conference road win, and beating TCU is always nice. Perhaps if the officials didn't call so many fouls in this game, this guy wouldn't have had this happen.
Iowa State at Baylor
Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
Jan. 14, 8:00 PM CT
The Bears are back home to start the week as they welcome in Fred Hoiberg's Iowa State Cyclones on Wednesday night. ISU is coming off a big week with wins over Oklahoma State in Ames and at West Virginia on Saturday night. The win in Morgantown was especially impressive to the point that ESPN college basketball guru Andy Katz named the Cyclones his team of the week for their performance. As has been the case with recent Iowa State teams, this group is performing at an elite level offensively. They are averaging just over 80 points per game, rank 2nd in the country in assists per game, and shoot 49% from the field as a team. The Cyclones are led by jack of all trades forward Georges Niang, who averages 15.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 3.6 APG. Niang provides matchup problems to just about every team ISU faces so limiting his production will be key. Iowa State goes 8 deep in their rotation and all 8 are capable scorers. The big key for the Baylor defense will be its ability to stay disciplined in defending the 3 point line against a team that likes to shoot a lot of them, especially Naz Long. Baylor will absolutely need to do a better job of finishing around the basket to keep up with the Cyclones on the scoreboard. A long offensive drought will be crippling in this game. It is critical that the Bears begin to establish a home court advantage at the Ferrell Center and it starts Wednesday night. If you're a student on campus, GO TO THE GAME. Wear white. Watch below. I think you know the drill.
Baylor at Kansas State
Bramlage Coliseum (Manhattan, KS)
Jan. 17, 2:00 PM CT
Baylor will take to the road for the third weekend in a row, this time to Manhattan to deal with Kansas State in the "Octagon of Doom". The Wildcats had been in freefall mode heading into last week highlighted by an ugly non-conference loss to Texas Southern. K-State was able to right the ship with a close win at home over TCU but then pulled off an absolute shocker by going into Norman and beating Oklahoma in OT on Saturday. It's become very apparent that K-State goes as sophomore guard Marcus Foster goes. Foster was actually benched by coach Bruce Weber in their conference opener against Oklahoma State but he responded well with 2 big games last week and hit the game winning 3 pointer to beat OU. Thomas Gipson provides some added beef down low but if those two guys are unable to provide offense, the Wildcats have had trouble finding other scorers. Foster was a major factor in the two games against Baylor last year so if the Bears can keep him from heating up, they should be in good shape defensively.
Big 12 Update
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