Nationally-ranked Baylor looks ahead to Sam Houston State

Forward Tristan Clark (No. 25), a Baylor freshman from Wagner, competes in the first half Saturday against eighth-ranked Wichita State.

Short-handed Baylor is destined to take a bit of a tumble in the national polls after losing twice last week to ranked opponents.

Ranked 16th in the Associated Press Top 25 at the beginning of last week, the Bears are expected to fall when the new rankings come out Monday morning.

They’ll try to get back in the win column Monday night at home against Sam Houston State.

Buoyed by early-season victories against Wisconsin and Creighton, Coach Scott Drew’s team lost 76-63 on the road against 21st-ranked Xavier last Tuesday.

Forward Terry Maston broke his wrist against Xavier, and the Bears subsequently learned that they will be without him until January.

As a result, Baylor went into Saturday’s home game against eighth-ranked Wichita State with only eight scholarship players.

The Bears put up a good fight but fell 69-62.

Bears guard Manu Lecomte said it’s been tough trying to adjust.

“Huge, it’s been tough lately,” Lecomte said on notes posted to Baylor’s athletics website. “We tried to bring guys in. Ish [Wainright] was here yesterday, and we brought in O[bim Okeke] this week trying to help us.

“Tyson (Jolly) did a great job for us. First game of the year against a top ten team and he did a great job just coming in and did everything he could.”

Despite the manpower shortage, the Bears had the game tied with a little more than three minutes remaining. They couldn’t hang on.

Forward Tristan Clark, a Baylor freshman from Wagner, produced six points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes against the Shockers.

For the season, Clark is averaging 6.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 20.7 minutes.