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The Shootaround: THAT WAS FUN

Baylor basketball picks up a signature non-conference win over Vanderbilt to catapult into the top 20

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Week In Review

#25 Baylor 80 Prairie View A&M 41
(0-7, 0-0)
15 26 41
35 45 80

Box ScoreQuotesNotesPhoto Gallery USATSI Gallery

Waco, Texas • Attendance: 4,572

(5-1, 0-0)

As expected, the Bears took care of business with ease on Wednesday night, cruising to a 39 point win over winless Prairie View. Baylor jumped out to a quick 31-8 lead, holding the Panthers to just 3 made field goals in the 1st half. The 2nd half turned into the Johnathan Motley show, as the big guy poured in 15 points on 7-8 shooting in the final 20 minutes, giving him a season high 23 for the game. Terry Maston also had his best game as a Bear with 12 points and 6 rebounds. But my favorite stat line from this game came from Lester Medford: 9 assists, 0 turnovers. If he can keep that assist to turnover ratio in check, Baylor’s chances to win against quality opposition significantly increase. With this win, it was time to prep for the big showdown with Vanderbilt.

#25 Baylor 69 #16 Vanderbilt 67
(6-2, 0-0)
32 35 67
34 35 69

Box Score | Quotes | Notes | Photo Gallery | USATSI Photo Gallery

Waco, Texas • Attendance: 7,084

(6-1, 0-0)

My goodness, last night we saw one hell of a basketball game for early December. The first meeting ever in the Ferrell Center between ranked opponents in a non-conference game was an absolute doozy as Baylor pulled out a 69-67 win over a really good Vanderbilt squad that features multiple NBA prospects. This was a back and forth affair throughout as Baylor got off to a 8-3 start only to see the Commodores get hot from behind the 3 point line to take the lead midway through the 1st half. That’s when Taurean Prince absolutely took the game over. TP at one point scored 16 straight points for Baylor, highlighted by consecutive possessions with a long shot clock beating 3 pointer followed by an and-one in transition that gave the Bears an 8 point lead late in the half. But Vandy would shoot their way back into the game, pulling to within 2 at halftime and then exploding for a 17-0 run to take a 52-39 lead with just under 12 minutes to go. Wade Baldwin IV and Matthew Fisher-Davis keyed the run for Vanderbilt as they were able to get out in transition and get open looks from the outside, taking advantage of some poor shot selection from Baylor. But Taurean Prince hit a 3 to pull Baylor to within 10 and the Bears began to force Vanderbilt into a slew of turnovers to turn the tide. Baylor pulled to within 2 and then tied it on an absolutely VICIOUS dunk by Ish Wainright, blowing by Vandy center Luke Kornet and bringing the house down at the Ferrell Center. From that point, the lead swung back and forth seven more times until Al Freeman found Lester Medford for a clutch corner 3 to give Baylor the lead 69-67 with 42 seconds to play. The Bears were able to get two more stops on the defensive end to close out what should be a fantastic win on their NCAA Tournament resume against a Vanderbilt team that is probably the most talented team in the SEC not named Kentucky. Prince finished with a career high 30 points and was the best player on the floor for most of the night. Rico Gathers pitched in 10 points and 13 boards as he bullied the taller Vanderbilt forwards on the glass throughout the night. More on Rico below. But there was one key stat that won this game for Baylor: turnovers. The Bears only had 7 turnovers on the night but forced 17 from Vanderbilt. The Commodores shot a much higher percentage than Baylor, but the Bears made up for it by taking care of the basketball and getting 19 second chance points with their work on the offensive glass. All in all, a great win for Scott Drew’s team that propels the Bears into the top 20 this week.

Rico Sets Rebound Record

With his 9th rebound of the game early in the 2nd half, Rico Gathers broke Brian Skinner's school record with his 916th career rebound. Rico has been just a complete menace on the boards since he arrived at Baylor back in 2012, but has taken it to a whole different level since he became a starter last season. He should soon became the first Bear to reach the 1000 rebound plateau. Congrats Rico!


Seriously y’all. I still can’t get over this dunk from last night. Ish Wainright just ended Luke Kornet on this play. And the best part of this Vine? Check out the levitation that Rico Gathers gets on the bench. This was Ish’s only bucket of the game last night but we’ll remember it for a long time.

Looking Ahead

Northwestern State at #16 Baylor
Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
Dec. 8, 7:00 PM CT

The Bears just have one game on the slate this week, ending a six game homestand with a tilt against Northwestern State tomorrow night before heading into an 8 day break for final exams. The Demons looked to be a potentially dangerous opponent when the schedule was first released but they suffered a devastating blow when star guard Jalen West went down with a torn ACL in their season opener. West was the only player in college basketball last season to average at least 20 points, 7 assists and 2 steals per game. Without him, Northwestern State has struggled to a 1-6 start with blowout losses to Ole Miss, Arizona, Auburn and Arkansas. The Demons tend to play an up tempo brand of basketball but this has led to them allowing 93.4 points/game, good for 348th out of 351 Division I schools. It could be a big night for Baylor offensively.

Big 12 Update


#14 West Virginia 0-0 -- 0.000 7-0 1.000 W7
#4 Iowa State 0-0 -- 0.000 6-0 1.000 W6
#7 Oklahoma 0-0 -- 0.000 5-0 1.000 W5
#16 Baylor 0-0 -- 0.000 6-1 0.857 W5
#2 Kansas 0-0 -- 0.000 6-1 0.857 W5
Kansas State 0-0 -- 0.000 6-1 0.857 W2
Texas Tech 0-0 -- 0.000 5-1 0.833 W4
Oklahoma State 0-0 -- 0.000 5-3 0.625 L2
TCU 0-0 -- 0.000 4-3 0.571 W1
Texas 0-0 -- 0.000 4-3 0.571 W2

Notable Results

#5 Iowa State 84 North Dakota State 64
Texas 80 UT-Arlington 73 (OT)
#22 SMU 75 TCU 70
Tulsa 66 Oklahoma State 56
Kansas State 68 Georgia 66
#4 Kansas 75 Harvard 69

AP Top 25

AP Top 25
1 Michigan State (62) 9-0 1,617
2 Kansas (1) 6-1 1,442
3 North Carolina (2) 7-1 1,425
4 Iowa State 6-0 1,347
5 Kentucky 7-1 1,325
6 Maryland 7-1 1,299
7 Oklahoma 5-0 1,283
8 Duke 8-1 1,243
9 Villanova 7-0 1,230
10 Virginia 7-1 1,003
11 Purdue 8-0 997
12 Xavier 8-0 930
13 Arizona 7-1 811
14 West Virginia 7-0 615
15 Providence 8-1 548
16 Baylor 6-1 488
17 Miami (FL) 7-1 469
18 Butler 6-1 416
19 SMU 6-0 413
20 Gonzaga 5-2 399
21 Vanderbilt 6-2 377
22 Louisville 6-1 373
23 Cincinnati 8-1 331
24 Oregon 6-1 241
25 Utah 7-1 108
Others receiving votes: Connecticut 82, Syracuse 78, Texas A&M 69, George Washington 60, UNLV 40, UCLA 19, South Carolina 15, Dayton 7, Arkansas-Little Rock 5, Georgetown 4, Florida 4, Pittsburgh 3, Iowa 3, Northwestern 2, Indiana 2, Notre Dame 1, Navy 1
Dropped from rankings: Syracuse 14, Texas A&M 18