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No. 25 Baylor Hosts Oklahoma State in Big 12 Home Opener

The rebuilding Oklahoma State Cowboys come to the Ferrell Center to take on Baylor in the Bears conference home-opener.

The Baylor Bears open the home-portion of their 2016 Big 12 basketball schedule Tuesday night against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.  Baylor (10-3,0-1) looks to earn their first win of the Big 12 season, after a blowout loss on the road to #1 ranked Kansas Saturday afternoon. 

Media Information

No. 25 Baylor (10-3, 0-1) vs. Oklahoma State (9-4, 1-0)


Jan. 5, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. CT


Waco, Texas | Ferrell Center (10,284)


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  • Baylor's last home loss was 330 days ago, when Oklahoma State won 74-65 on Feb. 9, 2015. 
  • Baylor has held opponents under 75 points in 39 consecutive home games dating back to a 91-84 overtime win against Northwestern State on Dec. 18, 2013. BU?has allowed 59.8 points per game during that streak. 
  • Rico?Gathers needs 12 rebounds to become the 8th player in Big 12 history (1st at Baylor) with 1,000 career boards. 
  • Taurean?Prince needs 16 points to become Baylor's 30th 1,000-point scorer (12th of Drew era). 
  • A win would extend Baylor's home winning streak to 13 straight, tying the 2nd-longest in Ferrell?Center history. 
  • Tuesday's game is the 77th all-time meeting between?Baylor and Oklahoma State. 
  • Baylor is 10-8 in its last 18 games against OSU dating back to the team's second meeting in 2007. Prior to the recent 18-game stretch, BU had lost 18 of 19 games against Oklahoma State. 
  • Baylor lost both games against OSU?last season, the first time the Bears were swept by OSU since 2006.

Keys to the Game

1. Win the Glass - Oklahoma State has been an average rebounding team in 2015-16.  Leyton Hammonds (6-foot-7 forward) and backup center Chris Olivier, and startin center Mithcell Solomon are very good on the offensive glass.  Solomon in particular is tough on the glass, and in put-backs.  Just under three of every ten shots he takes are off of offensive rebound putbacks.  Same with Hammonds, who is around 23.8% of his shots coming off of putbacks. 

The Bears are once again elite at offensive rebounding, with the 7th best rebounding rate in the nation at over 40%.  Defensively, they have some issues, especially when they utilize their zone defense.  They are still 95th in the nation on the defensive glass, but that is propped up by Rico Gathers.  When he takes a break from the action, the Bears are just not a very good defensive rebounding team.  Baylor will need to block out on the Cowboys and keep their dangerous forwards off of the glass and away from second chance points. 

2. Do Not Foul - The Cowboys are one of the best free throw shooting teams in the nation, converting 76% of their attempts.  Starting guards Juwan Evans and Jeff Newberry are both shooting better than 84% from the charity stripe and get their most often for the Cowboys. They are good off the bounce, and solid at initiating contact.  Over half of Juwan Evans' shots come at the rim off of penetration. The Cowboys get 24% of their offensive prodcution from the free throw line, good for 42nd in the nation.  

3. Get the Good Taurean - Taurean Prince is one of the better players in the Big 12 confernce.  You see that in games against Vanderbilt (30 points and 5 rebounds), New Mexico State (34 points adn 3 rebound) and Arkansas State (25 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists).  However, Prince has had some struggles this year, especially against Texas A&M and Oregon, both losses for the Bears.  In the three games the Bears have lost so far, Prince has scored a combined 35 points on 7-28 shooting from the field.  17 of his points have come at the free throw line, highlighted by his 12-12 effort from the charity stripe against Kansas. 

When he is off, he usually starts to take more long jumpers. Prince is just 4-15 from behind the arc in those 3-losses for the Bears, and has totalled just 5 offensive rebounds.  That is the mark of a guy floating from the outside and not fully engaged.  Baylor needs the All-Big 12 candidate version of Prince to show up, not the one that that the Bears have gotten glimpses of.  He is too good of an all-around player to let one skill sink the rest of his game.  

What Happened Last Time?

The 16th ranked Baylor Bears fell to the 21st ranked OSU Cowboys 74-65 as Le'Bryan Nash and Phil Forte combined for 40 points. After a back and forth start to the game, the Bears surged out to an 8-point lead. However, the Cowboys would cut that lead to 1 point at halftime and take the lead 3-minutes into the 2nd half.  OSU would never relinquish that lead again, behind 16 second half points from star guard Phil Forte.  

Predictions – Baylor wins 71-63 (79% chance for win) – Baylor wins 72-63 (79% chance for win)

Tim Watkins Writer– Bears win 75-61

The Cowboys are without their best player, Phil Forte who could be out for the rest of the season, in an already rebuilding year. No Marcus Smart or LeBryan Nash to give the Cowboys an elite player to carry them.  The Cowboys are 9-4, but it is against a schedule that is rather weak. Their best wins are over TCU and Long Beach State, who are both outside the Top-100 according to KenPom. They have lost to both Top-100 teams on their schedule, though 2 -point loss to Top-25 Florida in December was a good loss.  

Baylor should just have too much talent, and hopefully motivation after their humbling loss to Kansas Saturday.  I expect the Bears to play one of their better games of the season, and get back in the winning column.  Lester Medford has a big day against a freshman point guard, and the Bears dominate the glass against a smaller frontcourt.   

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