By Marquis Cooley | Sports Editor
While many Baylor students headed home for Thanksgiving break, Baylor Athletics continued to compete at a high level, putting on some spectacular performances over the holiday. Here’s all that you may have missed over the break.
No. 8 Baylor football punches ticket to Big 12 Championship
After a hamstring injury to junior quarterback Gerry Bohanon, redshirt freshman quarterback Blake Shapen stepped up to lead Baylor to victories over Kansas State University and Texas Tech University to finish out the regular season at 10-2. With the help of Oklahoma State University winning a thrilling game in Stillwater, Okla., the Bears now find themselves with a chance at redemption. They’ll have an opportunity to bring a Big 12 title back to Waco with a win over OSU at 11 a.m. on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
No. 4 Baylor men’s basketball captures Battle 4 Atlantis Championship
After taking care of business at home against Stanford University, No. 4 Baylor men’s basketball (7-0) traveled to the Bahamas to continue their perfect start. After impressive victories over Arizona State University and Virginia Commonwealth University, the Bears were able to defeat No. 22 Michigan State University 75-58 in the finals to be crowned the 2021 Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis champions. Freshman guard Kendall Brown earned all-tournament team honors alongside tournament MVP senior guard James Akinjo. After a short break, the Bears will return to face off against the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-7) at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the Ferrell Center.
No. 4 Baylor women’s basketball shows dominance in Cancun Challenge
After suffering their first loss of the season to No. 8 University of Maryland despite a career-high tying 30 points and 15 rebounds from senior forward NaLyssa Smith, No. 4 Baylor women’s basketball (6-1) headed to Cancun, Mexico to get back on the right track. The Bears beat Fordham University, Arizona State University and the University of Houston by double digits to go 3-0 in the Cancun Challenge. Their performance earned them three all-tournament selections, as graduate student guard Jordan Lewis and senior center Queen Egbo were named to the 2021 Cancun Challenge Mayan Division All-Tournament Team while Smith walked away with tournament MVP honors. Baylor will look to continue their hot streak against Morehead State University (1-4) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Ferrell Center.
No. 5 Baylor volleyball wraps up regular season on high note
Baylor volleyball swept both Iowa State University and the University of Oklahoma to end the regular season on a seven-game winning streak. Baylor’s 20-5 record was not only their sixth straight 20-win season under head coach Ryan McGuyre, but it was also good enough to earn them the No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament. As the No. 5 seed, Baylor will host the first and second rounds of the tournament on Thursday and Friday at the Ferrell Center. The Bears will take on Southland Conference champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (19-9) at 7 p.m. Thursday.
No. 4 Baylor equestrian splits pair of home matches
No 4. Baylor equestrian (4-2) took on No. 3 Auburn University and No. 8 Fresno State at home to close out their fall slate. After trailing to the Tigers 6-4 at halftime, the Bears went on to suffer a 13-7 loss. Baylor was able to regroup and, on a short turnaround, beat the Bulldogs 11-7 to finish the semester with a win. Jumping Seat senior Caroline Fuller was named the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Fences Rider of the Month for November after going 3-0 in the month to improve to 6-0 on the season.