By Michael Haag | Sports Editor
With students back on campus, refreshed and ready for the final stretch, the focus was probably not on Baylor athletics and what went on over Thanksgiving break. Here is everything you may have missed over the time off.
No. 8 Baylor equestrian dealt with California State University, Fresno by a score of 11-7 on Nov. 18 at the Willis Family Equestrian Center.
“It’s a really good feeling [to be 2-0 at home],” jumping seat senior Maddie Vorhies said. “Riding here, having all 61 people on the team is way fun. The cheers are louder. We all get to spend time with our horses and our people, so it’s such an advantage to be at home. I love it. There is just so much more support, and from the people here at Baylor too, which is so much more fun.”
The Bears (2-4, 2-1 Big 12) now have around two months off before squaring off with the University of Tennessee at Martin on Jan. 27 in Waco.
Baylor football fell in walk-off fashion to then-No. 4 Texas Christian University 29-28 on Nov. 19 at McLane Stadium.
“Great game plan; guys went out there and gave it their all,” junior running back Craig “Sqwirl” Williams said. “We have a lot of guys on our team that I felt really deserved to walk out of here as winners today. For it to end that way, it really hurts.”
Williams totaled 112 yards on 19 carries on Saturday, his second time eclipsing the century mark this season. Redshirt freshman safety Devin Lemear led the team with a career-high nine tackles, chipping in a pass break-up as well, his fourth of the season.
Following a tough loss to then-No. 16 University of Virginia and a big win over then-No. 8 University of California, Los Angeles, the No. 7 Baylor men’s basketball team used a dominant defensive second half to blow by McNeese State University 89-60 on Wednesday in the Ferrell Center.
“First half, I didn’t know if we had gotten back from Vegas or not,” head coach Scott Drew said. “I thought McNeese really had great intensity, had a great game plan. Second half, I thought we did a much better job defensively and imposing our will. That leaves a much better taste in your mouth going into Thanksgiving.”
The Bears (5-1) now play at Marquette University Tuesday in the Big 12/Big East Challenge in Milwaukee, Wis.
Baylor football closed out its regular season play with a 38-27 loss to No. 23 University of Texas Friday afternoon at Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin. The Bears and Longhorns traded leads throughout all four quarters, but Baylor failed to end on a high note.
“The thing that we’ve been working on is just finishing strong,” sixth-year linebacker Bryson Jackson said. “We have a lot of talent and we work hard, but just the understanding that we got to finish and play all four quarters is something that’s major. It hurts. It’s definitely a challenge for us.”
The team will start its bowl game preparation and look to redeem itself as it heads to an undetermined contest, expected to be announced on Dec. 5.
After a tough road loss to No. 1 University of Texas, No. 17 Baylor volleyball swept Kansas State University 3-0 Saturday afternoon in the Ferrell Center.
“I feel we scheduled and did everything we were supposed to do,” head coach Ryan McGuyre said. “Maybe there were a couple conference games where we stubbed our toe in, but it’s a long season. To go through that and manage it and still finish second [in the Big 12] in the No. 1-ranked conference … yes, absolutely [we deserve it].”
The Bears (23-6, 12-4 Big 12) were chosen as the fourth regional seed, 15th overall, in the 2022 NCAA Volleyball Tournament, as announced Sunday night on ESPNU.
Baylor will host Stephen F. Austin State University, the University of Colorado Denver and Rice University for the first and second round matches in the Ferrell Center. Colorado will take on Rice at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by the Bears versus Stephen F. Austin at 7 p.m. The winners of those matches will advance to the second round, which will take place Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 21 Baylor women’s basketball fell to No. 22 University of Michigan 84-75 in Sunday’s championship final of the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla. Senior guard Jaden Owens poured in a career-high 22 points, outdoing her previous mark set the game prior, an 18-point outing.
“I thought Jaden’s pace offensively, the downhill pressure that she put on, I thought she finished well attacking the basket,” head coach Nicki Collen said. “As she continues to be a good decision-maker outside of scoring, I think she can truly be someone who creates shots, not just for herself but for her teammates.”
This loss came after being defeated at home by then-No. 19 University of Maryland, College Park and then tournament wins over Saint Louis University and then-No. 23 Villanova University.
After playing three games in three days, the Bears (5-2) are now off until playing host to Houston Christian University (3-2) at 2 p.m. on Dec. 4.