In case you missed it: Winter break

Fifth-year senior safety Christian Morgan (4) and some other members of Baylor's defense celebrate a crucial stop during the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 22, 2022 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth. Josh Wilson | Roundup

By Michael Haag | Sports Editor

For Baylor students, winter break was a chance to take some time off, recharge and refuel for the spring semester. Student-athletes were able to compete without the academic stress, and some sports remained in full swing.

Here is everything you may have missed in Baylor athletics over winter break.

Cold hard facts: Falcons run over Bears in Armed Forces Bowl

In frigid 13 degrees Fahrenheit weather paired with a 20 mph wind, the United States Air Force Academy’s football program got the best of a Power Five opponent for the fifth-straight time, defeating Baylor 30-15 on Thursday night in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.

“From a team perspective, it’s a disappointing end to a disappointing season,” Baylor head coach Dave Aranda said. “A lot to be learned for our returners and our younger people. A lot to look at and try to emulate as well.”

The Bears finished the season 6-7 overall, much different from the 12-2 season seen a year ago.

Relays lead Baylor track and field in season’s first meet

Baylor track and field finished its first meet of the 2023 season this past Saturday, Jan. 14, in Lubbock at the Corky Classic. The Bears won both 4×400 titles along with two individual golds.

“It was another solid day for the Bears on day two of the Corky Classic,” head coach Michael Ford said. “I am super pleased with how we competed across the board. Coach [Jeff] Chak’s throw group did a good job in the shot put today and I am super proud of Ben [Conacher] in the pole vault. It is good to see him healthy and reaching new heights. Kavia Francis did a great job in the 200 [meter] and I loved how we closed out the meet winning both 4×4. Now, time to rest up and train to prepare for New Mexico.”

The squad will now get a chance to see the national championship track on Saturday, Jan. 21, in Albuquerque, N.M., at the Martin Luther King Invitational.

Baylor men’s basketball takes down Oklahoma State 74-58

The Baylor men’s basketball team defeated Oklahoma State University 74-58 Saturday night at the Ferrell Center. The Bears snagged their second-straight win following an 0-3 start to conference play.

“I felt like everything started to settle down,” junior guard LJ Cryer said of last Wednesday’s 83-78 road win at West Virginia. “From my perspective, everybody was uptight after those losses. Just a lot of tension. But after getting that win, I felt like we loosened up and we’re getting back to having fun again. Basketball is supposed to be fun. I feel like when we’re out there having fun, we play our best.”

Following Tuesday’s game at Texas Tech University, Baylor will stay on the road against the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., on Saturday at 3 p.m.

No. 18 Baylor women’s basketball stumbles at WVU in 74-65 loss

No. 18 Baylor women’s basketball couldn’t overcome four double-digit West Virginia University scorers, as the Bears lost 74-65 Sunday afternoon at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, W. Va.

“We are not a team that’s good when we have one big scorer,” head coach Nicki Collen said following the loss. “We’re just not, that’s not who we are. We don’t have NaLyssa Smith anymore.

“We’re at our best when we’re sharing the ball and assisting on baskets … At times, I just didn’t think we played downhill well enough against them. They were better at playing downhill and the ball screen than we were.”

Baylor will return home and play host to Kansas State University at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the Ferrell Center.

No. 11 Baylor men’s tennis makes quick work of season-opening doubleheader

No. 11 Baylor men’s tennis kicked off its season on Sunday with a pair of 7-0 victories over Lamar University and the University of Incarnate Word inside the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.

“It was a really good day,” head coach Michael Woodson said. “I think the biggest thing for everybody is that there’s just a lot of unknowns about the team. There’s a lot of guys that are either freshmen or didn’t see a lot of action last year, so I felt a little better going into today than maybe people on the outside did just because we know what we’ve got and what these guys are capable of. But seeing them go out and do it twice in the day and seeing everybody contribute was really impressive. I think it exceeded my expectations.”

The Bears (2-0) will hit the road to Virginia where they will face the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., on Thursday. Then, Baylor will play the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on Sunday, Jan. 22.