Baylor MBB Advances Past Big 12 Quarterfinals

Baylor in Big 12 Quarterfinals
Photo credit: Baylor Athletics

Today’s Baylor Men’s Basketball game was the exact opposite of their regular season match up against Oklahoma State on Senior Day earlier this week. The Bears (22-1, 13-1) were the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Quarterfinals where they faced No. 9 Kansas State (9-20, 4-14) and scraped by with a win over the Wildcats, 74-68. On Sunday following the Bears’ final game of the season, I wrote, “On Senior Day where the team honored F Mark Vital, Gs MaCio Teague and Mark Paterson, and former F Tristan Clark who medically retired from basketball last November, four of the Bears scored in double digits and fifth-year senior Vital notched his first double double of the season!” Today, however, Baylor looked like a beat up team who couldn’t get their defense in order despite that being their strong suit throughout the entirety of the season. Of course it could be that the Bears’ playing 12 games since February is wearing on their bodies and minds, translating to the shabby performance in the Big 12 Quarterfinals, but even with what I’m sure was a verbal swift kick in the shins by Head Coach Scott Drew during halftime, Baylor struggled to pull themselves together and play like the team they were a few days ago. According to Baylor Athletics’ Jerry Hill (papa), “Led by freshmen Nijel Pack and Davion Bradford, the ninth-seeded Wildcats (9-20) forced 21 turnovers, shot 40 percent from outside the arc and actually beat the Bears on the offensive glass (13-8) to stay in this one till the end.” Stats like those make for a winning team and one that especially sounds like Baylor throughout the past 20 odd games. However, the Bears turned the ball over 21 times and had more issues with 3 point shooting than they usually have. Baylor shot 53.1% (26-49) of their field goals, 40.9% (9-22) of 3s, and 92.% (13-14) of free throws. Senior G MaCio Teague won the points contest for the second time this week as he scored 24, and junior Gs Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler had 23 and 18, respectively. The Bears looked cold and dysfunctional during the first half, but they were able to band together in the second and create separation between their score and Kansas State’s. Here’s to good thoughts for Baylor as they take on No. 5 Oklahoma State tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.!