Short-handed Bears drop home game to Big 12-leading Wildcats

Story by DJ Ramirez | Sports Writer, Video by Noah Torr | Broadcast Reporter

Baylor men’s basketball fell to Kansas State 70-63 in a hard-fought game Saturday night at the Ferrell Center. The Bears are now 6-4 in Big 12 play.

Head coach Scott Drew said the Bears had a good enough effort to win the game but were unable to execute down the stretch.

“I thought our effort was good enough to win, our execution wasn’t,” Drew said. “We didn’t rebound well enough to win. We turned it over too many times and really credit Kansas State cause at the end of the day they made big threes late, and the last nine minutes of the game they won the game by the way they performed.”

Baylor was out-rebounded by Kansas State 33 to 32. While the Wildcats started out with four turnovers in the first five minutes of the game, Baylor ended the game with 13 turnovers to Kansas State’s 11.

The Bears made a good defensive start, playing a zone defense and being physical, but K-State struck first, only to have junior forward Freddie Gillespie dunk to tie the game at two immediately after. The game was tied nine times, seven of those in the first half.

Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber said the Wildcats were so wary of Baylor’s three-point game they allowed too many dunks and too many points in the paint.

“I don’t think they (Kansas State) understood how good Gillespie is, I don’t think they understood how good [Jared] Butler is, [Devonte] Bandoo, all those guys. The coaches did, we did, but I don’t think they did,” Weber said. “These dudes … they’re going, they’re coming at you, they’re jumping on your back, they’re flying around and we had to stand up and be men.”

The Bears had 34 points in the paint and a 40 percent field goal percentage but shot only 25 percent in three-point percentage. Freshman guard Jared Butler scored three of Baylor’s six 3-pointers and was one of three Bears to score in double digits with 13. Making his first Big 12 start, junior guard Devonte Bandoo scored 15. Gillespie also had 13 points and led the Bears in rebounds with nine, three defensive and six offensive rebounds.

Notably absent from the court were senior guards Makai Mason and King McClure, who joined sophomore forward Tristan Clark on the bench. Mason was injured in practice earlier this week, playing limited minutes in Baylor’s game against Texas on Wednesday. McClure hurt his knee earlier in the week, but Drew said they could not tell he was injured until their first practice after the loss to the Texas on Wednesday.

“It’s really frustrating because you know you’re going to have some injuries you just don’t normally have so many in season long, or severe injuries, or multiple game injuries,” Drew said. “You see people get the flu, tweak this or tweak that, miss a game or two, but Jake [Lindsey], Tristan, Makai, King, that’s a lot of guys now.”

With so many experienced players out, Baylor seemed to lose steam toward the end of the game as they adjusted to having Mason and McClure sitting the bench. Bandoo said he looks to learn more from the seniors now that he might have to see more time on the court.

“That’s the only thing I really can do cause they’ve been here before,” Bandoo said. “Makai is our leading scorer, so I know he knows the right reads, he knows what he’s doing on the court, and you know King’s a tremendous defensive player so I can always pick things up from him cause I’m going to be on the court more.”

The Bears will face the Oklahoma Sooners at 8 p.m. on Monday at the Ferrell Center.