Bears Win Big Over Mizzou, 90-64

In the near future, Waco could become a very tough place to play as the Baylor Bears have now officially "gelled." Tonight the Bears showed the Missouri Tigers what they were capable of – a dominating performance with several different players stepping up as the Bears (2-7) demolished Missouri (10-11, 3-7) 90-64.

The headliner was freshman point guard Curtis Jerrells. In recent games, fellow freshman and backcourt mate Henry Dugat had been burning up the nets – but tonight was Jerrells time to shine as he scored 28 points on 11-14 shooting including 5 for 6 beyond the arc. He hit everything from pull up 3 pointers in the defender's face to jumpers in the lane after coming to a split second jump stop and elevating for what looked like easy scores.

It didn't matter what Missouri tried to do to stop him. If they tried to play him close, he would blow right by. If they gave him an inch of breathing room, he simply shot right over the defender.

Fellow freshman Kevin Rogers joined Jerrells tonight with a highlight night. Rogers rose above Missouri players several times to throw down monstrous slam dunks and finished with 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting. One sequence that will have Baylor fans buzzing tomorrow included two vicious blocks by redshirt freshman Mamadou Diene, followed by a fast break which finished with a follow slam by Rogers.

Every player, other than redshirting Jari Vanttaja, saw the floor tonight for Baylor – a nice change that allowed Coach Scott Drew to reward everyone for their hard work in practice. These players even had a few nice plays of their own highlighted by a two-handed slam dunk by walk-on Mark Shepherd and capped off by a slashing lay-in by Baylor football player and true freshman Carl Sims.

One scary moment occurred in the second half, when Aaron Bruce suffered yet another injury, a dislocated finger. When the injury occurred, it was the type of scene that caused anyone that saw it to cringe as they could almost feel his pain. But Bruce being Bruce simply had it popped back into place, taped it up, and was back on the court trying to save balls from going out of bounds and taking the ball hard to the basket.

For Missouri, Thomas Gardner rebounded from a tough game last Saturday, scoring 25 points and grabbing 4 rebounds. If not for Gardner's long 3 pointers in the second half, this game could have been even uglier. This marks the 6th straight loss for the Tigers and creates the real possibility that they could finish the year in the Big XII cellar.

Missouri will try to rebound Sunday back at home against Kansas State. Baylor meanwhile, continues to reap the benefits of the scheduling gurus of the Big XII as they go on the road for two straight games against Oklahoma and Texas. This will be the second time the Bears face each team – but the Bears hope to be able to show off their new and improved team.

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