Following a spectacular finish against the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Friday, the No. 12 Baylor Bears (6-2, 0-0) host the Tarleton State Texans (5-3, 0-0) at 7pm in the Ferrell Center. The Bears are a -19 point favorite in a game where an emotional letdown could keep this game closer than it should be if Baylor isn’t careful.
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Tarleton, ranked No. 153 by KenPom, is a feisty team that is 6th nationally in turnover rate and 10th in steal rate on defense. They turn opponents over on over a quarter of their possessions. That makes them one of the fastest paced teams in the country. In one of the more embarrassing program losses last week against the Marquette Golden Eagles, Baylor struggled mightily with live ball turnovers, which allowed Marquette to build that massive early lead. If Baylor doesn’t take care of the ball, this feisty Tarleton team could hang around.
While they generate lots of turnovers, the Texans also commit more fouls than almost anyone in the country. Their opponent free throw rate is at 52%, meaning for every two shot attempts from the floor, Tarleton opponents are shooting one free throw. The Bears just so happen to be the top ranked team in free throw rate. Baylor might just be living at the line this game, so long as they don’t cough up possession.
In the end, let’s call it 82-65 for the Bears. LJ Cryer is again the leading scorer on the night with 17 points with Adam Flagler and Keyonte George chipping in 14 apiece. Dale Bonner gets 3 steals, 8 assists, and 1 breakaway dunk.