By Greg DeVries
The Baylor Bears suffered their second straight loss Saturday at the hands of the Missouri Tigers, 89-88. This was the Bears’ first home loss of the season, which puts them at 17-2 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 play.
Defense was the story in this game despite the high score. The Bears allowed Missouri to shoot 54.5 percent from the field on 30 made baskets.
In the second half, the Tigers made nearly 64 percent of their shot attempts. Baylor set up in many different defensive looks, but Missouri was able to penetrate and score despite the scheme.
“Missouri seemed to have all of the answers,” head coach Scott Drew said.
The Bears expected to have an advantage in the post, but Missouri’s Ricardo Ratliffe played well enough to swing the advantage in the other direction, finishing with 27 points and eight rebounds.
“Our whole goal was to try and get the ball at him and get him in foul trouble,” Drew said.
Rebounding was another upsetting element to the game for the Bears.
“[Rebounding] was the difference in the game,” senior Quincy Acy said. “Penetration killed us.”
Freshman Quincy Miller finished the game with 29 points, a career high for him. He was not so quick to celebrate.
“I don’t like losing. At all,” Miller said.
Junior Pierre Jackson got his first start of the season. He finished with 20 points and 15 assists.
Missouri made 10 out of 12 free throws in the final minute of the game.
The Bears executed their offense well in this time, outscoring the Tigers 14-10 in the final minute, but when a team shoots 80 percent from the line on the season, it can be difficult to take the lead.
Missouri shot 31 free throws during the game compared to Baylor’s 11. The Tigers were able to draw fouls quickly enough to get into the bonus with about 12 minutes left in the second half. This was mainly caused by Missouri’s penetration into the paint.
“That’s what’s really tough about them is they can shoot it and they can get in [the paint]. I mean, if they couldn’t shoot you could back off and make things easy,” Drew said. “It all starts with their guards because their guards do a great job of getting inside.”
Baylor is now ranked No. 6 in the AP Top 25 and No. 7 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Missouri and Kansas are now ranked No. 2 and No. 5 in both polls respectively. The Bears’ next game is at 7 p.m. today at Oklahoma.
“Our guys are winners,” Drew said. “They’ll be ready to bounce back.”