‘On to the next one’: Bears travel to Stillwater for crucial Big 12 game

Senior forward Taurean Prince calmly celebrates during the Bears’ game against Oklahoma on Saturday at the Ferrell Center. The Bears ended up losing the game 82-72. The team still has a shot at the Big 12 title after putting themselves in good position with a successful early run in conference play. Photo credit: Penelope Shirey

The No. 17 Baylor men’s basketball team hit the road for Stillwater, Okla., to take on Oklahoma State at 8 p.m. today at the Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The Bears (15-4, 5-2) are looking to regroup after falling short to No. 2 Oklahoma on Saturday at the Ferrell Center, 82-72.

Baylor lost its way with turnovers and ineffective defense against the Sooners’ clinical offense.

“I don’t think we exposed them at all. I think we had a lot of defensive breakdowns late. We did a bad job of making sure we were in the right place at the right time. That’s on us.” – Senior forward Taurean Prince

The Bears were unable to gain the momentum they needed in the Oklahoma game. Baylor’s loss not only yanked Baylor from first place in the Big 12 standings, but it also handed the Bears their first home loss of the season.

However, head coach Scott Drew said his team is one of the best at putting losses behind and moving forward.

“I think first it shows you that you have a resilient group, a competitive group, and also a team with a short-term memory. If you worry or are thinking about the last game, you are compounding your issues. We are on to the next one and making sure we put our next foot forward.” – Head coach Scott Drew

The Bears currently lead the nation in assists per game and have six players averaging nine or more points in conference play.

The Cowboys (10-9, 2-5) look to bounce back at home after losing on the road to Kansas State, but are going to have their work cut out for them. Earlier this season, OSU lost to the Bears by a decisive scoreline, 79-62.

“They got a lot of great talent. They have a 7-footer, they have Jawun Evans, obviously. They have a lot of guys that can shoot the ball. Every game you are playing them, or play anyone in the Big 12, they are going to give you their A-game.” – Sophomore guard Al Freeman

Although the Bears came out on top in the first meeting, Freeman said he knows the Cowboys are going to be ready to compete and defend their home court when the Bears come to town.

“This time around, I’m sure they are going to do what they can and do what they thought they were doing well against us, like coach said, rebounding. We are going up there and expect a war, and a battle for 40 minutes.” – Sophomore guard Al Freeman

Cowboy freshman point guard Jawun Evans averages 12.8 points, and .819 free throw shooting percentage in 29.2 minutes of play per game.

The Bears are going to need to dominate on the boards once again, if they are going to want to take the win on the road.

“Offensively, [Oklahoma State] has so much more rhythm. Coach [Travis] Ford does a great job of putting them in a lot of tough things to guard. We are one of the best rebounding teams in the country and if we don’t do that then we become an average team and that is something we can never take for granted.” – Head coach Scott Drew

Drew called the Cowboys a team that is much more in-sync with each other since the last time the two teams met in Big 12 play.

“Obviously, anytime you play someone and you really rebound well, next time they are going to get focused on getting much more determined, so it’s that much harder to do, especially on the road in the Big 12; so that’s what we have to bring each and every night, the rebounding effort.” – Head coach Scott Drew