The Baylor men’s basketball team is trying to get back on track in the Big 12 conference, while the Lady Bears look to extend their dominance in conference play.
Looking to snap a two-game losing streak, the No. 21 men’s basketball team will take on Kansas State at 7:15 p.m. today at the Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.
“It’s the depth of the league. Coaches know how hard it is to win against quality teams like Kansas State, let alone do it on the road,” said head coach Scott Drew.
It will be a re-match for the two teams, after the Bears were able to claw their way to a victory in double-overtime at home earlier this season.
With the Bears (17-6, 6-4) coming off two losses against Texas and West Virginia, the hope to bounce back looms in the air for the team.
“We are past West Virginia. As far as going on the road, any Big 12 team is tough,” said senior forward Taurean Prince. “We’ve talked about a lot of things as a team, no coaches, getting a lot of things off our chest and making sure everybody is good with everybody and just worried about the next game.”
Although Kansas State (14-9, 3-7) is ranked under the Bears in the Big 12 rankings, they have the momentum going their way after coming off a win against the former No. 1 Oklahoma team.
“A lot of times, fans see that after you get a win against Oklahoma and say, ‘How did that happen?’ Coaches aren’t surprised at all,” Drew said. “Again, that’s why our league is so good. Top to bottom it’s very good, it’s not just one or two teams.”
Prince said he realizes how good Kansas State is defensively, and if his team wants to pull out a win they will need to find ways to break them down.
“They take away the three really well. They are good defensively,” Prince said. “So we have to get easy shots and do what we can on defense to stop them and get out of transition.”
The Bears will need to stop Wildcat junior guard Wesley Iwundu who has averaged 12.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
“We are focused on us just trying to get wins,” Prince said. “We are not focused on if we lose because we don’t expect to.”
“After we lost our first one versus Kansas we won five straight. We are still definitely a team capable of doing so. I believe in us just as much as I did at the beginning of the season and I expect a win out of us.”
The No. 4 ranked women’s basketball team will be in action 7 p.m. today against Texas Christian University at the Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth.
The Bears (23-1, 10-1) have won 10-straight, with their most recent victory coming at home against Kansas, 81-49.
“We took care of business at home these past two games and now we go and play two on the road,” said head coach Kim Mulkey.
The Horned Frogs (12-10, 4-7), who lost five of their last six games, are coming off a close loss to No. 20 Oklahoma and will be determined to take the win home.
It will be a battle of the three’s for the Bears and Horned Frogs as they go into the game being the top two teams in 3-point field goal percentages.
“The challenge is to shoot the perimeter shot, and we can make the perimeter shot,” Mulkey said. “I don’t have a three player that can’t shoot the perimeter shots, you just have to step up and make them on the road.”
While the outside shot is important, junior forward Nina Davis said it is valuable to get the ball in the paint because of the size advantage they have over other teams.
“When we have our post players who are much bigger than me, they are 6-5 and 6-7, I just try to tell them that contact shouldn’t affect their shot that much and thats what you want, you want the and-one,” Davis said. “We just stress that to them, that if they are going to miss, get the the rebound and go back up strong.”
With the Bears averaging 71.5 points and 43.9 rebounds per game in conference play, the Horned Frogs are going to have their hands full matching up to the tough Bears lineup.
The Horned Frogs are being led by senior guard Zahna Medley who is averaging 15.5 points a game, and sophomore guard AJ Alix, who is averaging 11.1 points per game.
Although losing early on in conference play, Mulkey said her team is determined to win a championship.
“We’ve been on a mission since that game to go and win a championship,” Mulkey said. “We have to win 17 straight. We have been able to do how many now? Ten now. We have seven more that we have to get.”